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5 Ways to Drive Team Productivity Working from Home
Working remotely with a dispersed team has been a challenge for many. Established methods for…
As you live your solopreneur life, you will encounter failure, stress, negative people, and hardships in your business that are out of your control. Most of the time, it will make you hate what you do to earn hard cash and give up on it.
To avoid this and persevere in achieving solopreneurial success, you must learn to enjoy every action you take in or out of the business. Here are effective ways on how to do that.
1. Focus on the long-term benefits of being a solopreneur
Instead of thinking you’re a solopreneur because it’s a temporary necessity of making money, think about being a businessman for early retirement and financial freedom in the future.
2. Find what you can learn from running a business
Not every person on the planet has the opportunity and desire to run a business or own a brand. These kinds of people will live their life with limited knowledge of the world. But you as a solopreneur will gain commercial knowledge and wisdom. The more you learn, the less ignorant you will be, and the happier you become.
3. Think of being a solopreneur for those you love
Love is a strong source of motivation, inspiration, and happiness. Don’t think about solopreneurship as a “need” to earn money. Think that you’re doing it because you “want” your family and yourself to live a happy and secure life.
4. Enjoy the interaction with customers and clients
No matter the kind of customers or clients you come across, whether they’re kind or irate, enjoy interacting with them. Be happy because the kind ones warm up your soul. Be happy because you learn how to be a better person from the not-so-desirable ones.
5. Always think and say something positive in the business
If you’re facing an effective competitor, don’t say that they’re greedy. Think that they’re highly motivated and creative – two important things in business that every solopreneur should have.
Even if your sales are low and staying in the market is hard, think of it as a challenge for you to step up your game.
6. Learn to love what you don’t
You’ll need to wake up early, eat healthily, stay fit, and get messy to be a successful solopreneur. Most of the time, you’ll dedicate personal schedules just to get things done. There’s nothing you can about it even if you complain.
But if you learn to love what you hate, you’ll just laugh to yourself, shrug, and say, “Well, I guess this is my hobby and who I am now.”
7. Adopt a craftsman’s mindset
Working a day job and working extra hours at home for side hustling makes you question yourself, “What do I really want in life?” This could then lead you to identify all the things you dislike which makes your happiness plummet.
Whereas if you adopt a craftsman’s mindset, you avoid complaining and focus on improving the quality of your work. The more you keep on improving your craft’s quality, the sooner you enjoy what you do.
8. Practice hard in being an efficient businessperson
So you’ve transformed yourself into a crafty solopreneur. The next thing you need to do is find ways to make quality work in a faster and easier manner. When you’re done with this challenge, you can now proudly call yourself a master of your niche.
The first time I was called an adept businesswoman, writer, and real estate attorney, I was even more deeply in love with what I do. Today, every aspect of my career and everything I do for it are things that bring me enjoyment.
A positive, resourceful, and focused mind is the key to happiness in all aspects of life. In business, it is the #1 secret for success. All you have to do to achieve this mental attitude is to start molding your head until problem-solving, improving, and mastery is your default way of thinking.
Most people have no control over their emotional well-being. They feel ecstatic when good stuff happens and depressed when things go wrong. Their lives are roller coaster rides: sometimes up, sometimes way down.
But what if you could be happy no matter what happens?
You’d stay calm when your car breaks down and your boss shouts at you. You’d stop feeling lonely when there’s no one to talk to on a rainy day. You’d never lose sleep over a relationship that isn’t working out.
If being in command of your emotional state sounds good, take charge of your life with these 5 easy tips.
1. Stop Chasing and Start Living
Many people feel they need something – more money, new clothes, better relationships – to make them happy. They think: “If only I had that other thing, I would be complete”. Instead of enjoying life, they chase a vague idea of happiness.
But even when you get everything that’s supposed to make you happy, life will have ups and downs. Today your car breaks down; tomorrow you pull your calf muscle. If you look hard enough, you’ll always find reasons to be miserable.
So stop chasing; start living. Wanting more is fine, but don’t forget to relax and enjoy life for what it is – in the present.
2. Assume Responsibility
We often blame other people, circumstances and even objects for our problems. “I’m this way because my dad didn’t love me enough”; “I hate my stupid car for breaking down all the time.”
But life is full of different people and situations: some are good and some are bad. Unless you assume responsibility for your life, you’ll always be at the mercy of those circumstances.
Instead of blaming others for what’s wrong in your life, focus on what you can do to make things better. Never sulk and try not to feel sorry for yourself too often. It’s your responsibility to make yourself happy: nobody else’s.
3. Stop Seeking Stimulation
We live in a world of endless stimulation. Between movies, video games and the internet, something exciting’s always going on. Sometimes, this makes us feel bored and restless when we run out of stuff to do.
If you want to be happy, overcome this addiction. Develop the ability to enjoy life in its entirety – even when the stimulation stops.
Appreciate the sky you see on your way to work each day. Cherish each moment you spend with the people you love. Savor every bite of food you get to eat. Enjoying every experience will give you many new reasons to be happy.
4. Take Action
Taking action is the logical consequence of assuming responsibility for your life (Point #2).
When you want to lose weight – start jogging. Someone’s being rude to you? Tell them to stop. If you’re unhappy with your job, start looking for a new one. Get behind the steering wheel of your own life!
This site has plenty of advice that will help you take action the smart way. Educate yourself and commit to find happiness no matter what it takes. With enough hard work and dedication, you really can create the life you want.
5. Expect Nothing
We expect others to treat us better than we treat them. We work out a few times and stress because we don’t instantly look like models. We want to live like rockstars, ignoring the fact that only a few people reach that level of success.
In short, we tend to have unreasonable expectations. The difference between what we feel entitled to and what we actually get is the source of much misery.
Accept life in its entirety; stop thinking in terms of what should be and accept what is. When you live without entitlement, every good thing becomes a wonderful surprise. Even better, expecting nothing means never being disappointed.
At the end of the day, bad things will happen to you. You will have highs, lows and lots of mediums in your life. You’re only human, just like everybody else.
But follow the 5 tips in this post and you’ll be well on your way to staying happy – no matter what happens.
A few months ago, I wrote a column from an interview with high-powered executive coach and bestselling author Wendy Capland. As a follow-up, we decided that she would coach me and I would write about the process in this column.
How much time do you spend having fun? And how often do you do something purely for fun, and not because it’s good for you or expected of you? For many of us the answer is not often enough. Here’s why that has to change.
My coaching experience began with a questionnaire that asked for details about why I do what I do, my values, and history. But then I came to this question:
What do you currently do for fun?
Uh-oh, I thought. I may be successful in general but I fear I’m a failure in the fun department. Not that I don’t do things that I enjoy, but I rarely do them because I enjoy them. If they’re fun, it’s usually secondary to some other purpose, such as getting exercise, spending time with family members, furthering my career in some way, or supporting our musician friends. But how often do I do something purely for fun and no other reason? Not often enough. And too many times it involves an hour’s TV watching right before bed.
The problem with this approach is that it can suck the joy out of your work life, your home life, and your most valuable relationships. Self-improvement and career advancement are great, but if you spend all your leisure time focused on what’s good for you, and what others expect and need, you’ll miss out on enjoying the benefits of all your hard work. And because it’s hard to be fun if you’re not having fun, the people around you may stop enjoying you as well.
Don’t let that happen. No matter how busy you are, you have the time-and you must take the time-to follow these steps:
1. Ask yourself what you would most like to do.
If you haven’t done anything purely for fun in a while, you may find this question difficult to answer. But it’s important to answer it. If you’re stuck, try daydreaming a little and see if you can come up with your fantasy for a perfect way to spend one day or one evening. If that fails, try thinking back to the things you enjoyed as a child. (For me, going to the beach and playing in the waves is high on that list.)
2. Block out some time for fun every week.
It can be a day, an evening, or even a lunch hour, but you should set aside some time to do some of whatever you came up with as a pure fun activity. You don’t have to do it by yourself, but if you bring along family members or friends, they must agree that the purpose of the outing is your enjoyment, and you will only do things that you really want to do. Offer to accompany them on a pure-fun outing of their own some other time, when your roles will be reversed.
3. Try something new.
Is this a requirement? Of course not-there are no rules about how you have fun. But if you use some of your valuable fun time to try something you’ve never done before, you’ll expand your horizons, activate newness-loving pleasure chemicals in your brain, and create very vivid memories. And as this fascinating TED talk explains, when it comes to fun, it’s all about the memories.
4. Silence the sounds of “should.”
These can be external-a spouse, co-worker, or friend telling you what you ought to do for your own good. Or they may be internal, since most of us have a self-criticism reel playing in our brains at all times. (I certainly do.)
Either way, thank the naysayers for sharing and then get on with what you were doing. You blocked out this time for pleasure, so there’s nothing else for you to prioritize right now. You’ll get back to whatever you “should” be doing afterward. And do it better because you took a little time for yourself.
What will you do just for fun? Tell me in the comments, or by tweet.
The security guard welcomed me with a smile, offered the comfort of a seat and the convenience of a magazine while I settled yet again for a long wait at the government office. He did this every time. The TSA officer at the airport in the Virgin Islands thanked each passenger for his or her patience in the long airport security line and wished us safe travel. With a half-oval smile and eye contact. Every passenger.
These are just two of the most joyous employees I have ever met even though their jobs are amongst the most mundane.
The February 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review reports that “happy employees have 31% higher productivity, their sales are 37% higher; their creativity is threes times higher”. Happiness is a huge value proposition to the organisation. But do you as an employee have to wait for the company to make you happy? Did that security guard and the TSA officer depend on anyone to make him or her experience joy in their work?
From JOB to JOY. It’s only one letter, yet it’s a huge chasm for many people. “Job” typically denotes drudgery, boredom, suffering, penury, lack of freedom, painful necessity and everything that’s totally antithetical to joy. Moving from JOB to JOY just doesn’t seem possible. Yet, as the security guard and the TSA officer demonstrated, it can be.
Retirement is one route of course. Stay in the job long enough, hang in there, and at some point, you will leave and be rewarded with joy. That’s the theory. Yet many people who did not have joy in their jobs find that retirement is similarly joyless. Sometimes hold-onto-the-job-at-all-costs retirement planning is upsided by a sudden separation such as redundancy, severance or dismissal. People who have been forcibly released from their job and who state years later that it was the best thing that ever happened to them fascinate me. I look at their smiling faces, 10 years younger, and have to agree. That wakeup call forced them to examine their life, its meaning and understand that “sans” job, they are still worthy, loved and valuable to themselves and the people who matter.
But you don’t want to wait for retirement. You want joy now. You could change your job and move to a company that is more conducive to employee happiness. No guarantee of joy here as you have no control over how soon this ideal job/company will appear, where it will be located or whether it really is all it was made out to be in the job interview process. It’s risky.
The good news is that you do not have to wait for retirement or a new job. Here are three ways that you can take control and bring joy to your current job situation right now:
- Identify the value that your current job brings to you and be grateful for it. Collective groan – gratitude again? I have done it every day for the past 8 years and it really works! At least try it. Before you head out for work each morning, find one thing to be grateful for about your job. Read it aloud. Hear yourself speak those words of gratitude. Also think about the value you create for others at work. You may feel frustrated that you cannot get things done as you like. But you do help people, customers and fellow employees in ways that may seem insignificant to you, but could be very meaningful to the person being helped.
- Detach emotionally from the job: It is not who you are, it is just something you do. Change how you speak. Instead of saying “I am Manager of . at XX Company” try saying “My job at XX Company is manager of . “. With this semantic change you have moved from being the job to having the job. And by the way, stop complaining about the job!
- Take care of the other areas of your life such as exercise, nutrition, rest, social connections, family, love. Your job is not the totality of your being. There are many other facets of your life in which you find joy. Notice that people who are not happy in their jobs, tend not to be happy in other areas of their lives? It’s no accident.
From JOB to JOY means changing one letter: “Y”. How interesting that “Y” stands for YOU (and perhaps “B” stands for BOSS?). When you bring YOU to your job, you have the power of choice. You may now choose to change your current job if you find that it is difficult for you to bloom in that particular environment. Or you may choose to remain. Whatever your decision, be joyful in it.
“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.”- John Burroughs
A friend of mine Rachel Jacobs recently passed away in the train accident in Pennsylvania and its had me thinking lots about life and how we live it. We often get caught up in the little things that don’t matter and fail to pay attention to the people and things that matter the most. We basically stop enjoying the journey.
You can change that. The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of everyday. It doesn’t matter how old we are, what we’ve done, or how much money we have. Our journey is a personal one-full of lessons and reasons to be happy. When we stop comparing ourselves to others and realize how full our lives are, we can appreciate our individual value.
It’s important to value the journey, wherever you are in life. Here are some ways to be satisfied-happy, even-with how things are unfolding:
- Show gratitude. Find something every single day that you’re thankful for. Big or small, it all matters. Tell people how much you appreciate them.
- Be committed. Set your goals and stick with them. They made need some adjusting along the way, but you’ll keep your eye on the prize.
- Cherish your friends. Be around people who love you, not your success. Nurture you relationships and be a true friend without judgment.
- Keep on learning. The world is changing rapidly. Whatever your interests, continue to follow them. Or, tackle something new!
- Don’t multitask. Trying to do more than one thing at once causes burnout and keeps you from focusing on the present.
- Balance your life. Easier said than done, but essential. You can’t enjoy your age and stage unless you can leave work behind sometimes.
- Make family first. Spend time with your family and kids. Go to games and performances. Nothing says I love you more than taking the time to be involved in their lives.
- Take time to travel. It opens your mind, makes you more tolerant, and helps you appreciate what you have at home.
Every phase of life has benefits. Make the most of where you are today and enjoy the journey because life is short.
Please share on social media if you found this post helpful. If you have a comment or question, please post and add your voice to the conversation.
It is entirely possible that you hate cooking. Maybe you don’t hate it, you just don’t really enjoy it that much. This could be because you see it as a never ending chore, or because you aren’t very good at it, or for some entirely different reason. The fact is that you pretty much have to cook. You don’t have to be great at it, but you have to be able to feed yourself. Because it’s something that you pretty much have to do, why not try and enjoy it? Cooking is much easier and much more fun if you actually enjoy doing it, and it’s much easier to enjoy when it’s easy and fun. How do you take something that you don’t enjoy but have to do, and make it fun?
There are three main tips that I can give you that might be able to help you enjoy cooking. These three tips will help make things easier, but really you need to reframe how you look at cooking. If you view it as a chore, it will remain a chore. If you view it as something you are terrible at, you will remain terrible at it. If you view it as something you hate, you will always hate it. See what I’m getting at? You need to remove all the negative connections you have with cooking and start fresh. I know that it’s easier said than done, but it really is the only way. I am very confident that if you wipe the slate clean, you can start to enjoy cooking.
The first, and by far the most important thing you can do to start enjoying cooking is to plan. Before you ever step foot in the kitchen know what your going to do when you get there. This doesn’t have to be written down point by point even though you can do that, but take a second and think about what you’re going to do. Think about what you need to do first. What do you need to get started before anything else? What can wait until later? What are you making? How is it going to look? How is it going to taste? These are all things that you should have a pretty good idea of before you step foot into your kitchen. Just having some kind of plan will make your life so much easier.
When you make your plan, think about clean up. Clean as you go, and you won’t be left with such a big mess at the end. This alone will make the whole process of cooking much more enjoyable. Nobody wants to spend time cooking and then be faced with a giant mess after they eat. Clean as you go. Keep the sink full of hot soapy water and whenever you have a second wash whatever dishes are there. Wipe your counter down as often as you can. Just keep everything as tidy and as clean as you can. It makes the experience of cooking so much better.
Something that people do, that I really don’t understand is that they cook things that they don’t want to eat. Why would you do it? I have not idea! Cooking things that you actually want to eat, makes the whole process exciting because there is a delicious reward at the end. You are giving yourself something to look forward to. If you are spending all this time cooking and cleaning, and you’re making something you don’t even want to eat, it’s no wonder you hate cooking. I know that things get complicated when you have to feed your spouse or your kids. I don’t have kids so I can’t speak to that. Generally, my wife loves when I cook so I can’t really speak to that either. But I have been a child, and I have been the husband of a wife who has cooked a dinner that I didn’t entirely love. And you know what, I ate it. As a kid, my mom always told me that if I didn’t like the food she made I could go somewhere else (there was nowhere else to go), so I ate it. When my wife makes something that I don’t love, I eat it because I love her and she put the effort in. If you are doing the cooking, you get to choose what you cook.
You really need to be able to cook. It is so important for so many reasons. Since you need to be doing it, why not put every effort into enjoying it? Read blogs like this, articles in magazines, or even books. Watch videos on youtube like these or cooking shows. Whatever you need to do to find some kind of enjoyment. The more you know about cooking, and how to do it, the better you will be at it, and the more you will enjoy it. It is a chore that we all have to do, but that doesn’t mean we have to treat it like one.
You’ve heard of, and in all likelihood experienced, all kinds of shaming in your lifetime, from body-shaming to slut-shaming to food-shaming, but if you’ve ever been on the wrong side of book-shaming, you know how terrible it can feel to be unfairly criticized for doing something you love. When you stray away from mainstream literature and dive into the world of romance, young adult, chick lit, fantasy, or any other unique genre, it’s common for people to turn their nose up at your book and make you feel bad about your choices, but the truth is, you should *never* feel guilty about what you read or why you read it.
I was an English major in college, and I hate to admit that the stereotype is true, but I’d be lying if I said I was pretentious about my TBR list in those days. I can remember proudly strolling through campus carrying Proust and Melville under my arm, or sitting at the local coffee shop pompously reading Joyce and Tolstoy. I even brought Dostoyevsky and Kafka on spring break with me instead of a juicy beach read because, yes, I thought that was what was expected from an English major.
But I wasn’t always that way, and it took me years to recognize what happened to me: I was shamed into reading what I “should” read instead of enjoying what I wanted to read. It’s OK if you love to read Kafka by the beach, but I didn’t, and I wish I’d spent my time reading what I love instead.
I grew up loving fantasy and science fiction, and it was my mom’s used copies of cozy mysteries that helped me fall in love with reading in the first place, but when I stepped foot onto my college campus, all of that changed. Suddenly, I found myself surrounded by professional literary lovers who scoffed at the idea of genre reading or anything outside of Literature with a capital L. Already out of place as the first person in my family to go to college, at a school I struggled to afford no less, I was worried I would be found out as the phony I was. What right did I, a Mary Higgins Clark-loving, Twilight-reading, sci-fi loving nerd, have to learn next to these smart, wealthy, educated students who already seemed miles ahead of me.
Years and plenty of genre reading later, it seems foolish to think I put so much time and effort into putting up a front around something I love as much as reading, but that’s exactly what I did. And why? Because I felt ashamed of my book choices, embarrassed by my interested, and ostracized by my implied stupidity. And that’s exactly what book-shaming does: makes a person feel less-than, lower-than, the shamer and their elite reading preferences.
The truth is, like the clothes we chose to put on, the makeup we chose to wear (or not wear), the music we chose to listen to, the books we chose to read are another expression of our personalities, and no one should ever be ashamed of being who they are, no matter what the haters say.
Shaming of any kind doesn’t feel good, and it’s hard not to take it personally when it’s done to you, but I’m here to make one thing clear: you should never feel guilty about what you read.
“There is no reason to reach high for the stars. They are already within you. Just reach deep into yourself.”
I left a big job at a hedge fund in New York City nearly eight years ago. I was far from certain the job was to blame for my unhappiness at that time, but it was the biggest, boldest action I could take to make me feel like I was doing something to help my cause.
I have spent the last eight years searching for happiness, not sure at all what it would feel like or where I would find it.
So I mostly wandered. I moved from New York City to San Francisco to Seattle to Park City. I started a business, closed the business, took a job, quit the job. I ended an engagement, moved in with a boyfriend, and then moved out. I searched for happiness on beaches, in jungles, and in the forest.
Open to all the help I could get during this rudderless time, I also compulsively collected Top 10 lists that offered surefire ways to achieve greater happiness. (The proliferation of these Top 10 lists has given me comfort that I am not alone in my search!)
I can’t count the number of times I have put a small notepad on my nightstand to record three things I am grateful for before bedtime, or I have started exercising more (and more, and more).
I would eat one list up and then move on to the next. And that’s the problem. My experience has been that quality-of-life improvements can be made with these lists as guides, but the improvement is typically fleeting—as was with each of my moves, new jobs, and new boyfriends.
What to do? After years of trial and error (and some great teachers along the way), I have come to understand that it’s that question that gets us stuck to begin with.
Most Top 10 lists for finding greater happiness are prescriptions for what to do, actions to take, and this is their limitation. It was also the greatest limitation to my own approach—my focus was on taking big, bold action.
What I have learned about finding happiness is that first we have to stop doing. We have to start by focusing on who we are at our core, on our being; only then can we begin to figure out what we should be doing to fully realize this beautiful person, to let the stars that are already in us shine brightly.
So, who am I at my core? Who are you? We are each made up of a unique collection of values, the combination of which make up our being.
The top way to live a happy life: identify your values (who you are) and act (do) accordingly.
How well do you know your personal value system?
Often when we talk about values, words like honesty, integrity, kindness, and thoughtfulness come to mind.
Most of us were taught to honor these values early in life (it’s as if we were all in the same kindergarten class), and then most teachers, parents included, stopped talking about the v-word.
In the West, ambitions and goals typically receive much more emphasis than values as young people grow and gain responsibilities.
But your value system is like your fingerprint, full of life and wholly unique to you. (That’s what makes it so hard for any list of Top 10 lists to speak to us all.)
My value system, for example, is made up of roughly twenty principles that combine to make me the one-of-a-kind person I am.
My values include courage, beauty, curiosity, creativity, adventure, presence, and generosity, to name a few. When I’m in a funk and can’t figure out why, it is likely because I am not feeding one (or more) of these values.
For example, when I’m out of touch with beauty because I’m spending so much time in front of my computer, my to-dos might include taking a walk in nature. When I feel life’s become too routine and scheduled, I might make an adventure date with myself and go rock climbing.
Inevitably, when something’s not quite right, I can identify a value that needs more love—pronto!—and create an action item from that deep source of wisdom.
Now it’s your turn. What values make you uniquely you? If you have not spent much time getting to know yourself in this way yet, here are a few suggestions:
- Peruse a lengthy list of values and circle those that hit home
- Think of your role models and consider what it is about them you admire most
- Reflect on the values you want to pass on to your children
Once you have your list of values, start by identifying a few that you’ve fallen out of touch with, values that for one reason or another aren’t getting visibility in your daily life. With those values as your guide, create a list of to-dos that will allow you to connect with each value more fully.
Add on from there. (Why wait until a value is not getting visibility?)
The more you can connect your actions to your values, the more happiness awaits you. Ultimately, you will be connecting with the beautiful being that is you and that connection is what happiness is all about.