Stories of struggle, overcoming odds, slowly climbing the ladder and finally making it to top – these are the types of stories worth sharing.
There’s nothing more inspiring than reading an epic rags to riches or struggle to success story. It’s a classic genre that we all love. It reminds us that anything is possible – especially when we put in the work.
The world of business is indeed one of the most difficult places to be in. Competition is always stiff and you have to work extra hard to earn your place in the industry. To be honest, it’s not for the faint-hearted or risk adverse.
The road may be muddy and rough, but if you really want to succeed, you have to work hard and maintain a positive attitude.
3 Entrepreneurs Who Overcame the Odds
Any time you feel beat down on your journey to success in entrepreneurship, I want you to think about these 3 people. These are the 3 people who didn’t take no for an answer. These are the people we should all strive to be like.
1. Oprah Winfrey
It’s safe to say that Oprah Winfrey is one of the most famous people in the world.
She’s a host of a successful TV show (and network), philanthropist, producer and actress. But she is more well-known for her huge success as an entrepreneur having been dubbed as one of the richest women in 20th century and is the first African-American billionaire.
Amidst all of this success, Oprah Winfrey was not always the queen of the world she is today.
She was born in a poor community in Mississippi to a single mother and lived in extreme poverty for the first part of her life. By the time she came of age, she struggled to keep afloat and go to school.
But Oprah Winfrey was determined to beat the odds, and by high school she got her first gig as a radio host. From then on, she worked hard. Really hard. At age 32, she became a millionaire with her talk show going national. (A ‘little’ show called the Oprah Winfrey Show.)
Years later, she is now the owner of the cable network OWN, The Oprah Magazine and runs the extremely popular lifestyle website Oprah.com.
According to Oprah Winfrey herself, “I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived and ghetto girl who made good. I think myself of somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself and I had to make good.”
“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Oprah Winfrey
2. Milton Hershey
Definitely not one of the richest, but Milton Hershey will forever be remembered for his incredibly delicious chocolate. Although not a “rags to riches” kind of story, Milton Hershey experienced many struggles in his quest to create The Hershey Chocolate Company.
Let me explain.
Growing up in a rural community, Milton Hershey helped his parents on the family’s farm. There he developed the love and the value of hard-work and understood the concept of taking massive action.
In the year 1871, Hershey started working in a local printer, but left shortly because he didn’t find the work interesting.
At 14, Hershey worked with a candy maker in Lancaster. During the course of his employment, he studied and practiced how to make confections and after four years, he started to venture into the business on his own.
Here’s where it gets cool.
With nothing but for the knowledge he gained during his time in Lancaster, Hershey built his first ever confectionery business. The venture operated for a short six years and was bankrupt. For the next years, he would start two other but would fail in the end.
Hopeless, without money and disowned by his family, Hershey returned to Lancaster from New York. With little cash and faith, Hershey attempted for the last time to build the Lancaster Caramel Company.
Realizing that Chocolate had a better future than Caramel, Hershey shifted from making caramels to chocolates. And the rest is history.
Since then, Hershey’s chocolates have been sold worldwide and it continues to be a crowd favorite. What do you think would have happened to Mr. Hershey if he had just given up? Better yet, what would you have done?
Milton Hershey shows us that despite of numerous failures, it’s never an option to give up. Persistence coupled with the drive to succeed is the perfect mix to achieve anything.
“One must have a reasonable optimism. It is the force that makes the world go.” – Milton Hershey
3. Nick Woodman
You’ve probably heard the name Nick Woodman but you’re not sure where. Nick Woodman is the owner of the fastest-growing camera company in America, GoPro and is considered one of the youngest billionaires in the world.
However as a young entrepreneur, Woodman also encountered his fair share of business mishaps. Let’s start from the beginning – a place where you might actually understand all too well.
Woodman was not an A student in college and was like any ordinary student. In the height of the online frenzy in the early 2000’s, Woodman tried his luck and built two online startups.
His first venture was the e-commerce site, EmpowerAll.com. It didn’t gain any profit and was eventually closed down. He attempted one more time with the online marketing company, FunBug. It seemed to be going well for Woodman, but in 2001, he had to shut down the site because it just didn’t work out.
After losing $4 million dollars, Woodman told Forbes,
“I mean nobody likes to fail, but the worst thing was I lost my investors’ money and these were people that believed in this young guy that was passionate about this idea… you start to question: are my ideas really good?”
Failing the second time, Woodman decided to take a long break. After the much needed rest, Woodman set off again and created the GoPro. But because of the fear to lose GoPro again like Funbug, Woodman worked as hard as he could. He fully committed to succeed and he did.
Nick Woodman’s story only tells us one thing. AGE and FAILURE are not strikes against you when you’re working towards success and pursuing a business idea. Many young people are hesitant to work on their ideas because they believe that age is such a negative factor, that people won’t believe them.
These next few years could be the game changers for you. Don’t you want to look back 20 years from now and say, “Yea, I took some massive chances, pursued my passions, and took the bull by the horns. Not a single thing stood in my way.”
If you’re reading this, I’d bet money that one day you will.
Wrapping Up and My Final Thoughts
Three very different people, but with one simple (and profound) story to tell.
Everything may seem so out of reach right now, but don’t take no for an answer.
In business, or in any other field, industry or anything in this world at all for that matter – nothing comes easy. Chasing success is like running through a dark, narrow, and endless tunnel.
You get exhausted from running and blinded by darkness, but you see a teeny tiny hint of light and you can’t resist but to continue going to that direction.
Success takes hard work, sacrifice, and possibly a whole bunch of failures, but if you take it positively and turn your failures upside down – everything will fall into place at the end of the day.
Have faith and as always, I highly recommend you sign up for the Wealthy Gorilla newsletter. You’ll get no-fluff inspiration like this on a daily basis to blast through all roadblocks.
8 Ways To Supercharge Productivity In Co-Work Spaces
Co-work space environments are a fairly new concept, however their adoption as the environment of choice for creative professionals (particularly for freelancers or solopreneurs) has been rapid over the past few years.
Not only will you enjoy the economies of scale that come from sharing space, utilities and meeting rooms.
But by picking your co-working community carefully you’ll open yourself up form valuable, productive and exciting relationships that can significantly enhance your financial situation.
Unfortunately, co-working relationships are a double-edged sword; spend too much time on them and other tasks simply don’t get done; neglect them and you risk missing out on all of the benefits of a shared, professional community.
How to Supercharge Productivity in Co-Work Spaces
To make co-working space really work for you, consider the following simple tips as essential reading for the co-worker that wants to not only survive, but also thrive in the co-working jungle!
1. Stand up to Network
You already know that standing while working is, by default, hugely beneficial to your health. But did you know that, In co-work environments, you can use the mere act of standing as a communication tool?
It helps to differentiate between the times that you’re working on projects (that require your undivided concentration) and the times that you’re available for networking and sharing.
Taking your screen breaks standing in the communal area sends out a clear signal that you’re free to engage with others.
2. Focus on the Tasks, Not the Time
Resist the urge to let socializing take over your work schedule. Remember; you’re in co-working WORK space, you’re not attending a party.
Have a clear list of objectives that need to be achieved each day and stick to them.
If you’re finding work overwhelming and aren’t quite sure where to start, have a go at the most difficult task of the day first. Then you can move on to something easier (or have a quick break).
3. Face the Wall
It sound harsh, but if you’re facing another person you’re more likely to meet their eye and chat rather than work.
If your screen or work space is facing away from others, it forces you to concentrate on the matter at hand. Instead of having your eyes wonder off to see what everyone else is up to.
A word of warning here; use this tip sparingly as you don’t want to emit negative body language or become person who hides in corner and avoids all social interaction.
4. Schedule Your Networking
Instead of filling valuable work time with informal, unproductive “chats”, schedule in sessions for exchanging ideas. Or, perhaps working on collaborative projects, in the same way as you would a meeting with your own clients.
A definite start and finish time helps to focus on achieving the aim of the meeting and minimizes the risk of going off topic.
Research shows that the most effective meetings are undertaken standing up, so it may be worth ensuring that your chosen co work space has a few options before signing up – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
5. Really? Another Coffee?
Be honest – do you really need another coffee/tea, or are you just creating an excuse to avoid that task which you don’t really want to deal with ?
Making drinks wastes an enormous amount of time that could be spent on other, more productive tasks.
Keep a water bottle on your desk for regular top ups and confine hot beverages to your break times. Not only will you end up making healthier drink choices, but you’re in co-working space to work, not brew up.
Once it’s clear you’re not part of the “drinks round”, you’ll find you’ve got more time to work. You won’t be as likely to start sipping and chatting rather than being engaged in productive activity.
Of course, you shouldn’t avoid coffee breaks entirely. They present a great networking opportunity; just limit yourself to no more than 2 per day.
6. Use Your Computer Breaks Wisely
It’s important to take a regular break from your screen every hour or so – use this time to interact with colleagues.
Why not deliver a message in person? Why not schedule a mini meeting for a quick catch up or even enjoy a walk around the block to blow away the cobwebs?
Having a clear distinction between screen time and rest time helps workers to retain focus and ensures they work in a way that enhances their mental and physical well being.
If you haven’t heard of the ‘pomodoro’ technique for work and rest schedules, do yourself a favor and try it out today.
7. Give and You Shall Receive
Although it’s important to achieve some output each day, if you spend every hour with your head down you can miss out on much of the value that co-working space brings.
Being a generous colleague in terms of your ideas, insights and skills fosters a positive, productive environment that can really enhance a wide range of projects.
The co-working community is only as good as its members, so make sure you work at making it a success.
8. Don’t Forget Your Manners
Hours of valuable work time each day are wasted on dealing with trivial issues that arise simply due to poor etiquette and a lack of house training.
Simple things such as washing up after yourself and keeping high-traffic desk areas clear of litter (yes, that means the crumbs from your bagel).
Also, putting things away and leaving the rest room as you would wish to find it are all essential if your co-work space is going to run smoothly.
No one really wants to waste their time enforcing the kitchen rota or some other trivial housekeeping issue, so make sure you employ your very best social skills in order to keep things running smoothly.
Used correctly, co-working space becomes a valuable tool that can considerably enhance the creative process.
As well as provide a plethora of fresh insights to your work, and life. Following these straightforward tips will ensure that your working hours are productive as well as enjoyable, enabling you to get the most out of your co work experience.
How do you stay productive in co-work spaces? Leave a comment below.
7 Reasons to Take Action on Your Bold Business Idea
Sometimes, it’s difficult to turn a vision into reality;
There’s doubt and fear… fear of failure.
When it comes to business, people always hesitate and think twice. This is quite understandable as there’s a lot at stake when you start a company. Building a business takes time, effort and of course, whether you like it or not – money.
But you should ask yourself, “Will I be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that I didn’t even try?”
Life is uncertain, there’s no promise of success and this is the same in the world of business. Mark Zuckerberg said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
So what are you waiting for?
7 Reasons to Take Action on Your Business Idea
Start thinking of ways to slowly jump-start that business idea! Don’t be afraid; it will be difficult, the road will be rough, you will definitely stumble along the way, you will be blown by strong winds and often, you will find it difficult to even push through.
But at the end of the day, you’ll realize that it was the best road, the most amazing adventure you’ve ever taken.
Here are seven solid reasons why you should take action on your brilliant business idea.
1. If You Don’t Start it, Someone Will
Yeah sure, you have the best business idea in the world!
It’s one-of-a-kind, no one else has ever done it and in your mind it will surely be successful – but then, you don’t act upon it. Then, you wake up the next morning and your neighbor does the exact same business! It’s upsetting, right? And you start to realize that you weren’t the only one thinking of it too.
Regrets are just regrets, there’s really nothing you can do, you just have to consider it a missed opportunity. But you can avoid this if you take action quicker the next time.
Remember, ideas without action are nothing.
2. What Do You Really Have to Lose?
The “what-ifs” in your head are just imaginary, they don’t really exist and it’s just causing you paranoia, hindering you from ever even starting your dream business.
Do you believe me?
If not, just think of what you do everyday, your activities of daily living. You drive, you cross the street, there’s a HUGE risk of accidents, you might be ran into by a speeding vehicle, but you drive and cross the street anyway right? Because you need to get to your destination, to where you want to go.
Take a moment to closely look at your life, to study your situation. Is there really a risk, or are you just too afraid to even try? Perhaps, it’s not really the risks that you’re worried about.
Maybe, you’re masking that inner feeling of not succeeding. In everything that you do, failure is a possibility and it’s not something that you have to be ashamed about. Millions of people fail every second, what difference does that make?
If things don’t work out the way you want them to, you can go back to your life but that doesn’t mean you can’t try again.
3. What if Your Business Idea Actually Works?
Negative what-ifs are not good, but good what-ifs are healthy. Above everything else, you have to imagine your business idea being a successful one.
As long as you start it right, plan the business thoroughly and couple it with hard work, perseverance and patience, what could go wrong?
More than the thought of failure, there’s a bigger chance for your business idea to flourish and be successful.
Just think of the results of this success, you can quit your daytime job, spend more time with your family, increase your income and branch out with more businesses and you can even potentially help many people by providing employment!
Your simple business idea can change lives forever, not only for you but for the people around you.
4. Nothing is Guaranteed in Life
Time and time again, life does not assure you of anything.
You create your own path, you work hard for the things that you want and you are the master of your own destiny.
Things will not always be in your favor, you might lose important people, not succeed in your chosen career, fail several times and you might experience the most unfortunate events but don’t let anything stop you.
That said, there’s nothing more fulfilling than to pursue your passion, to feel that you are living the life of your dreams. So take a leap of faith and grab that chance to act on your business idea.
5. You Will Regret Not Following Your Dreams Someday
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
This quote from Steve Jobs is so powerful and so true. As a lot of people say, “Life is too short to live with regrets.” Society has a way of poisoning people’s minds, it expects us to become what we do not want to be.
You’re not business savvy, you don’t have the flare for business, or you’re just not smart enough to become an entrepreneur, these are just some of the things you hear. Never go to the same old, routine and monotonous direction. Be you, be unique, try everything, fail and succeed.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. At the end of the day you’ll be singing the lines, “Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall; and did it my way.”
6. You’ll Grow From the Experience
There’s nothing in this world that can teach you about life and change you so much than experience. Experience is just everything.
Whether you succeed or fail, there’s nothing more important than going through the entire process of starting a business. Losing is still winning, because by losing you become a better you – wiser, tougher, smarter and definitely you become more of a fighter.
Now that you know what went wrong, what you should change and what you should do in the future, you will be more confident and reasonable in making decisions. Things may not have turned in the best direction this time, but you’ll never know in the future!
7. It’s Now or Never
Procrastination is a disease of the mind that can eat you up if you allow it to.
It’s normal to be lazy sometimes, but postponing to the point of not being able to do the job or task at hand is really sick. So if you have a business idea, don’t just brush it off and do it later or next time or someday, do it now, today!
The world is always changing, people are always thinking of ways to make things better. You on the other hand will continue to stay on a secluded, isolated and lonely corner, just imagining and dreaming of what is to come.
But if you walk your talk, you can do far greater things beyond your wildest dreams! And you’ll be surprised at how things will work out for you.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
These are just seven reasons why you should act on your business idea now, there are a thousand reasons more!
If you’ve thought of other reasons, try to list them and read them over and over again. Let these reasons be your inspiration to take courage and action in building your dream business.
Start planting now, water it daily and reap the sweet fruits of your labor. You’ll appreciate yourself in the future.
You’ll stay strong, motivated, and filled with purpose until you reach your goals.
Top 10 Tools to Improve Your Business Writing Skills
Writing is not just an art; it’s a tool that helps people convey opinions in a clear, concise manner. If you intend to become part of any business, the successful communication with collaborators will depend upon your ability to write.
That’s why you have to invest a lot of effort into this skill. People who use tons of business slang, long sentences, and ‘smart’ words should not be your inspiration. Everyone expects you to express yourself in a clear, concise manner.
10 Tools for Improving Business Writing Skills
Proper writing requires a lot of practice, so you should devote a portion of your day to practice. Don’t be overwhelmed by the challenge; these 10 tools will help you boost your business writing skills with minimum effort.
When you are writing email messages to reporters, prospective customers, influencers, or potential partners, you have to make them short, concise, and attention-grabbing. Tell them what the point is without any circumvention.
If you are not sure that you’ve achieved that effect, you can paste the text into MailMentor and analyze the data you get. The tool will show you how much time a reader needs to go through the message, and what reading level the text is appropriate for.
In addition, you’ll get recommendations for improvements (for example: simplify your language or shorten the paragraphs).
When your schedule is full, it’s easy for your mind to get blank.
You have tons of messages and reports to write, but you simply cannot find the right words.
At this custom writing service, you can hire professional writers to do the work for you. All you need to do is provide the instructions, set a deadline and wait for your content to be crafted by an expert.
The company delivers research papers, resumes, personal statements, articles, reaction papers, and all other types of content related to business writing. In addition, you can also hire an experienced editor to improve the quality of your own work.
3. Daily Grammar
With lack of proper grammar and literacy, you won’t be leaving a good impression with the text you write.
Whether it is a simple email message or a business document, you have to make sure its grammar and spelling are perfect. This website offers a great range of articles that help you understand English grammar.
You don’t have to analyze Daily Grammar for hours; just spend 10 minutes at the website every day and you’ll soon notice an improvement in your writing skills.
When you are part of a particular business, you’ll probably need to send similar email messages to different people.
Instead of wasting your time typing the same content over and over again, you can use Gorgias to create flawless templates for Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo. This Google Chrome extension will make your emailing routine much faster and more efficient.
You can associate each template with a text shortcut, so it will immediately appear in your message.
This free online tool enables you to check your grammar and enhance your style by following the insightful suggestions.
In addition to a grammar and spelling checker, ProWritingAid also includes a readability tool, overused words detection, plagiarism checking feature, cliché locating tool, and more.
The software cannot replace a real editor, but it will surely indicate many mistakes that you can fix on your own.
This is a valuable vocabulary-building tool.
You can find synonyms, definitions, and information about the history of almost any word in the English language. When you notice that you are becoming repetitive, or you simply want to express yourself with smarter words, the synonyms will make your style more versatile.
Just enter your word in the search bar and you’ll get a list of possible replacements!
In the busy world of business, mobile devices are necessary communication tools. If you are sending messages via iPhone or iPad, you can use Byword 2 to write efficiently and clearly. This tool includes the most complete Markdown support.
It syncs the text across all devices with iCloud and Dropbox, so you can easily access and edit your content on any device you use.
Excellence in writing is not achieved within a day. You have to continuously practice and improve this skill. Stoodle offers an online learning experience supported by real-time collaboration and communication with the tutors.
You can use the tool to illustrate problems and invite tutors to help, and you can also collaborate with the members of your team on a particular project.
Use this Readability Test to see how understandable your content is before allowing someone to read it.
The tool functions according to Flesch-Kincaid, Flesch Reading Ease, and Gunning Fog – the most commonly used reading level algorithms. The results will indicate whether or not you’ve landed the right readability level for your type of audience.
If you didn’t get the expected rank, then simplify the content and test it again until you achieve a proper level of readability.
Before you can craft any type of business content, you need to organize your ideas and follow a plan.
Wridea is a great tool to use in that stage. You can add idea entries in seconds at any time. When you are onto something really special, you can share the ideas and pages and start discussing them with your partners.
The collaborative aspect of the tool enables you to analyze the ideas with your team members and make the needed updates.
Believe it or not, business writing can be lots of fun! When you express yourself through sleek, powerful content, you are boosting your chances to appeal to the reader and build a strong business relationship.
If you have enough confidence in your skills, you can stat publishing articles online.
High-quality online content with your name over it will improve your reputation in the world of business.
To wrap things up, here are the 10 tools you should start using today:
- Ninja Essays
- Daily Grammar
- Byword 2
- Juicy Studio
Now that you have access to all needed online resources, it’s time to get serious and start improving your business writing skills.
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