5 Signs It's Time for a Life Change

5 Signs It's Time for a Life Change

If you were to tell me 60 days ago that I was about to pack up my whole life and move to Miami, I wouldn’t have believed you.

I mean, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. I have four kids under 6 years old, plus a 7-month-old English mastiff puppy that weighs 115 pounds. It’s an election year. It’s hurricane season. I don’t have any family in Miami. And… I’ve spent less than 10 collective days there.

On the surface, it sounds like a crazy idea. Arguably, insane.

But when my husband and I touched down in Miami a few months ago, deep down I knew that it would be the setting for the next chapter of my life.

When people ask me why I’m moving from San Diego to Miami, my response is… “Why not?”

Turns out, I’m not alone. Earlier today, the CEO of a fast-growing startup told me he was planning on working remotely all fall in Maine to enjoy the autumn leaves. Another friend told me she’s taking her 3 kids to Hawaii for the next 6 months to make new memories. And another colleague is moving to Oregon for 9 months, to explore the Pacific Northwest.

So many people are making changes to embrace the new normal because they’d rather look back and say “Whoops” than “What if?”

I know that change is scary. But regret is way, way scarier.

I’d rather face an ocean of change than a mountain of regret.

Here’s how I knew it was the right decision for me to make a life change… and a few tips so you know whether now’s the time for you, too.

1. You’re feeling comfortable, yet restless

If you find yourself doing the same thing day in and day out, it might be time to shake things up. There’s nothing wrong with implementing some healthy routines throughout your day – but too much monotony can totally kill creativity. There’s no growth in the comfort zone. , and there’s no comfort in the growth zone. If your life lacks excitement and your energy is low, it might be time to make a life change. When was the last time you did something out of your comfort zone?

This happens to all of us at some point or another. You’re not alone – and more importantly, it’s a totally normal and natural part of life. Being in the same environment, doing the same thing over and over again, and spending time with the same people can make us stagnant. Make it a priority to spend less time with negative people who drain your energy and more time with people that energize and inspire you.

A big change in one area of your life can spark more changes in other areas, both professionally and personally. Change makes you more flexible, exposes you to new experiences and new people, and opens up the doors to more opportunities. It’s kind of addicting.

But even if you’re not ready to make a giant life change quite yet, start with simple things, like trying a new restaurant, learning a new hobby, or visiting a new town. Better yet, begin from within – what mental, emotional, or spiritual changes do you need to make so you can keep moving forward?

2. You want to feel a greater sense of purpose

Do you jump out of bed each morning excited or keep pressing snooze on your alarm? Are you spending too much time watching Netflix, scrolling the social media abyss, or other unhealthy activities? These are a few signs that you may need to rediscover your life’s purpose.

Work can also be a great source of energy in our lives. If you have lost your job or had to close your business, expect your physical and/or emotional energy to be low. Grief takes energy. Be kind to yourself. One great way I’ve found to drive meaning and purpose in my life is to help others. It’s why I dedicate so much of my time to helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. If you are struggling, reach out to ask for help. It will help you and the person who has the honor of helping you. Your request gives them purpose!

Pro tip: To reignite your sense of purpose, take one hour each day and commit to doing something new. And I mean really new. Donate your time to cause your care about, do something kind for someone else, learn how to master a new skill. One of my friends donates to Meals on Wheels every Saturday morning and when he calls me after he feels happier and more fulfilled. Commit to trying something new you've always wanted to learn. Take an online class in poetry, a creative writing class, or an art class. Learn a new language, grow a garden, or start a side hustle. The world is your oyster.

3. Something else in your life just reached its natural end

Whether a long-term relationship just ended or you just got laid off, that can be a sign that one chapter in your life is closing. And when something’s just ended, it means it’s time for something else to begin. This is positive. Choose to fill that space with something new, something that makes you feel energized and excited about the future.

Early this year, I stepped down as CEO of a global marketing technology company. While I’ve really enjoyed spending my time focusing on helping fellow entrepreneurs achieve business success while based in San Diego, that career shift also makes it possible for me to uproot and relocate. And it’s not the first time a job change led me to move somewhere else – shortly after I was laid off from my job in my early 20s in Los Angeles, I decided to move to Hawaii to begin my next chapter. I ended up starting my first company from my kitchen table, which totally changed my life. Later I moved to San Diego, where I sold my first company, not once, but twice, and had two sets of twins.

Is it time for you to turn the page? The next chapter can be the best one yet.

4. You feel like you’re living in the past

It can be difficult to look forward to the future when your surroundings and habits haven’t changed in a long time. You’re not the same person you used to be anymore… So why are you still living the same life, day after day? Take a step forward and refuse to look back (unless it’s to see how far you’ve come).

My family and I have made so many memories in our San Diego house, but something inside me told me it was time to move forward. I want to teach my kids to embrace change, new places, new people, and new opportunities. And I know that no matter how far away I am, the friendships I made in San Diego (and around the world) will last a lifetime.

If the word “change” paralyzes you, change the word not your action. What do you want to ADD to your life? When a house gets too small people often build on a small addition. Think of how you can “add” to your life to make room for more.

5. It’s been a long time since you’ve made a move

Sometimes, we forget we have choices. Remind yourself of your power by making one. When you make a decision, you take control of your life and your destiny. So, change careers, break up with your significant other if you’re in a toxic relationship, start a new business, or move to Miami to be my neighbor – whatever it takes to shake things up in your life and remind yourself that you’re in control.

I’m excited to get to know myself and my family even better as we navigate this big change together. Life is short and the world is huge – it’s time for us to broaden our horizons and step out into the unknown.

I’ll admit it – my move to Miami is a really major life change. But if you know me, you know there’s nothing I love more than a big adventure. I’m not suggesting everyone should move across the country – but I do believe making changes, big or small, is the key to improving your life. Change helps you learn, grow, and stay energized (maybe even a little scared). Change is also beautiful. If there were no change, there’d be no butterflies!

You have the power to change any aspect of your life. What’s a big or small change you’d like to make? No matter what might be holding you back, feel the fear and do it anyway!

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Kim Perell is widely recognized entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 16 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

Visit Kim's website or follow her on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Originally published in Entrepreneur

 


How to Find the Right Idea for Your Side Hustle

How to Find the Right Idea for Your Side Hustle

 

There’s nothing I’m more passionate about than helping entrepreneurs find success. I’ve worked with countless individuals interested in starting their own business or side hustle, and there’s one other BIG question I continually get – and I bet it’s not what you’d think it is. (At least, it isn’t what I thought it would be!)

The question that keeps emerging in one way or another is this:

“How do I find the right idea?”

So many ambitious, self-motivated, and intelligent people have a desire to start something new but they are convinced that in order to be successful, they need a big, impressive idea.

To find out that exactly is holding people back, I spent significant time researching this challenge. That’s when a pattern started to emerge.

Through my conversations with aspiring entrepreneurs, I identified three groups of people who are trying to figure out how to find the right idea.

Do any of these sound like you?

1. The Shaky Dreamer

Shaky dreamers feel like they don’t have an idea, but they actually do. And usually, it’s a very good idea. But they just don’t have enough belief or confidence that their idea is good enough to be the idea they should pursue.

They are often looking for some external confirmation or go-ahead before moving forward and aren’t sure how to judge whether an idea is good enough to pursue or not. Sadly, they also doubt whether they are capable enough in their abilities to pursue their idea or not.

If you’re a shaky dreamer, it’s time to start moving forward. You can be confident to move forward with your idea if most of the following things are true about it:

  • It allows you to do something you love (or at least really like)
  • It puts one of your superpowers, talents or strengths to work
  • There is market demand for it
  • It solves a problem
  • It has the potential to generate revenue (i.e, people will pay for it)

If you’ve done the research and you know most of these things are true for your idea, you should push your fears aside and start.

2. The Idea Machine

Idea machines don’t just have one idea – they have a million and one ideas. Their challenge is narrowing down their interests and committing to just one idea for long enough to really see it through.

If you’re an idea machine, it’s time to just choose one and really go after it. That doesn’t mean none of your other ideas will never see the light of day – you’ve just got to choose which will be the FIRST idea you tackle.

Here’s how I suggest going about the process of narrowing down your ideas.

  • Make a list of all of your ideas.
  • Narrow the list down to the three ideas you feel most drawn to.
  • Do some market research.
  • Choose one idea.
  • Take action.

I often see people paralyzed trying to find THE ONE or THE BEST idea. You will never be 100% certain. Find the one you feel most connected or you are drawn to and START there. The only way to know which one of your ideas will be the most successful is to try them.

3. The Hopeful Founder

Hopeful founders know they want to start something, but they really have no idea what to do. They haven’t yet figured out what sort of business would be best suited to their talents, interests, and skills.

In order to come up with the right idea, you’ll have to do some serious self-reflection about who you are, what you love to do, and what you’re awesome at. Then, do some research!

Here are a few ways to start generating some ideas before narrowing it down to just one:

  • Ask around. Do you have friends or family members who started a business? Ask them how their idea first came to them.
  • Brainstorm. Get out a pen and paper and let your ideas flow, without judgment.
  • Identify your strengths and passions. One of the best ways to find a match is to focus on leveraging your experience, strengths, and passions. List 5 things you are good at and passionate about. If you need some help, reach out to those closest to you and ask them what they think your strengths are…what do they value about you?
  • Solve a problem.  Many great products and services arose from someone who had a problem and wanted to solve it for themselves or others. When you solve a real problem people are facing, you know there will be demand for your product/service.
  • Iterate, don’t innovate.  A lot of hopeful founders tend to think an idea has to be a 100% original stroke of genius no one had ever thought of in order to be worth pursuing. Of course, that’s simply not true. My advice is iterate, don’t innovate.

What’s Next?

Join my Free webinar with Entrepreneur on Wednesday, September 16th at 12pm PST to find a business idea you really believe in. We’ll talk about what phase you’re currently at in the ideation process so you’re able to walk away with an idea you’re genuinely confident about. Click here to sign up for the Webinar today

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Kim Perell is widely recognized entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 16 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

Visit Kim's website or follow her on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 


6 Signs Your Fear of Failure Is Holding You Back (Without You Even Knowing It)

6 Signs Your Fear of Failure Is Holding You Back (Without You Even Knowing It)

What’s holding you back from starting a business?

Wait... don’t tell me. I already know.

If you’re anything like most would-be entrepreneurs I’ve talked to, you’re afraid.

Yes, you, with the big dreams, the killer ideas, and the jaw-droppingly impressive skill set.

You’re a scaredy-cat.

Hey, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Most of the time, I’m totally scared, too. Fear of failure is extremely common, especially among us entrepreneurs.

And with everything going on right now, there’s more fear swirling around than ever. With businesses closing, layoffs, and furloughs, your fear of the uncertainty that lies ahead is totally justifiable.

But here’s the thing: most of us aren’t especially eager to admit our fear to ourselves... or anyone else, for that matter. Instead, maybe you tend to come up with excuses for why you don’t take the leap and head out on your own. You might snuggle up in your comfort zone, insisting that you’d way rather keep working your dead-end job than embrace your creative side and start a wildly profitable side hustle where you are the boss.

I know better. And you can, too. Once you recognize the signs and acknowledge that fear is the main thing that’s holding you back, you can finally start to conquer your fears and take control of your life — no matter how uncertain the future may feel right now.

Here are a few telltale signs your fear of failure is currently holding you back – whether you’ve already admitted it to yourself or not.

1. You hesitate to try new things

When a friend of yours asks you to try a restaurant, get set on a blind date, try a new sport or something else you’ve never done before, your answer is usually a quick “Nah.” You prefer to stick to things you already know.

You choose your battles carefully, only agreeing to take on select challenges you’re really confident you’ll succeed in. This may seem totally trivial when it comes to social events – but in business, it can have serious consequences. Choosing to avoid any possible chance of failure by turning down new experiences can cause you to avoid taking risks, developing new skills, and creating something exciting. All because you’re afraid of failure.

If this sounds like you, make it a goal to say “YES” the next time someone invites you to try something new. Embrace those scenarios as an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone.

2. You’re settling for less than you deserve

You absolutely adore your creativity-stifling, monotonous job. You’re thrilled with your non-committal partner who isn’t really all that nice to you. No, it’s not that you’re afraid of change – you’re just ecstatic at the thought of living every single day the exact same way as you have for the last year.

While being content with your current circumstances is a good quality, being complacent is not. The truth is, you really do have the power to improve your situation and change your life. But in order to do so, you’ll have to admit that you want (and deserve!) more. You’ll have to take a risk. Yes, you’ll have a higher chance of failure that way – but you’ll also have a much, MUCH higher chance of living the life of your dreams.

If this sounds like you, set aside some time to take stock of your life. Consider your job, your relationships, and your current situation. What are you happy with? What do you wish was different? Then, start brainstorming a few changes you could make in order to make your life closer to how you wish it was. Focus on the good that could come from facing your fears, making a change and taking a step toward progress.

3. You insist you’re not afraid of anything

Spiders? Yawn. Crippling loneliness? Bring it on. Failure? Whatever.

Sorry, but I’m calling your bluff. Everyone’s afraid of something — and entrepreneurs have plenty to be afraid of. Fear is a natural human emotion. No matter how cool or capable you are, I guarantee you’ve felt afraid from time to time. And I’m willing to bet it’s influenced plenty of decisions you’ve made, too. Denying your fear doesn’t make it go away — in fact, allowing your fear to hide away in the shadows only gives it more power over your life.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to get really honest and vulnerable with yourself. Take some time to think about what you’re truly afraid of. Write down your fears and acknowledge what you are really afraid of. Then, you’ll be able to start addressing and overcoming your fears rather than living in a state of denial.

4. You tend to fall apart when things start going south

Whenever you fail, even in a small way, you feel like YOU’RE a failure. Your self-talk gets especially negative whenever things are going bad. You thrive when things are smooth-sailing – but you tend to view any challenges up ahead as disasters, not opportunities.

If this sounds like you, your mindset is the main thing that needs changing. Work on embracing failure as an opportunity to grow. Surround yourself with positive influences and work on keeping your self-talk positive, no matter your circumstances.

5. You tend to judge other people based on their success or failure

When you see someone who’s uber-successful, you assume it’s because they’re a really incredible person. When you see someone who’s failed, you assume they must have done something wrong, or maybe they’re just not cut out for this sort of thing. (When really, this might just be one step on their long road to success.)

Pay attention to how you look at failure & success when it doesn’t involve you personally. That’s a great insight into your beliefs about it.

If this sounds like you, try to focus on your internal qualities and effort rather than external success when you’re assessing where you’re at. Also, do your best not to compare yourself to others – it’s great to learn from the successes and failures of other people, but it’s unproductive to measure yourself against them. Everyone is on a different place in their journey, their middle may be your starting point.

6. You make excuses

There are approximately a million reasons why you can’t, or shouldn’t, or won’t start a business right now. You don’t have enough money, you’re super busy, there’s a pandemic going on, you’ve got too much on your plate, it’s too hot outside, you're tired, your psychic told you now’s not the time, you’re pretty sure your awesome idea actually sucks.

Fear is fluent in excuses. Sure, all of those excuses might be founded in truth – but if you really want to start a business, no excuse should ever be powerful enough to hold you back. That’s a surefire sign that your fear is the real thing holding you back.

If this sounds like you, address your excuses head-on. Take a moment to write down all of the reasons you think you can’t start a business right now. Then, take them one at a time and consider how you might overcome them if you had to start today. For example, if you think you can’t start a business because you don’t have any money – could you find a way to get started without cash? If you’re too busy — could you eliminate something from your schedule to free up some time?

Once you acknowledge what you’re really afraid of, you can start making real progress toward your goals — without the fear of failure standing between you and your dreams.

If you’re really serious about starting something new instead of letting your fear keep holding you back, enroll in the Side Hustle Accelerator to get everything you need to start and launch your business. Click here to join today.

Originally published in Entrepreneur

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Kim Perell is widely recognized entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 16 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

Visit Kim's website or follow her on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

 


5 Fears All Entrepreneurs Face (and How to Conquer Them)

5 Fears All Entrepreneurs Face (and How to Conquer Them)

Being an entrepreneur is totally scary.

Trust me, I’ve felt the same crippling fear that many entrepreneurs experience.

When I started my first company, I had so many what-ifs swirling around in my head. What if my company fails? What if people laugh at me? What if I can't get customers? What if no one believes in me? What if I don’t believe in myself?

Sometimes, I wondered if that fear I felt was a sign I just wasn’t cut out for starting my own company. But here’s the thing: fear is a natural human emotion. Everyone feels fear, especially entrepreneurs who are taking huge risks and striking out on their own.

The key isn’t to magically make your fears go away or pretend they don’t even exist.

In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to acknowledge, address, and conquer your fears so they don’t control your life.

Here are 5 main fears every entrepreneur must overcome in order to succeed in business (and how to start conquering them):

1. Fear of failure

Fear of failure is one of the very most common phobias, especially among new and aspiring entrepreneurs. In fact, 33% of Americans admit that the fear of failure holds them back from starting a business. But despite how terribly final it may feel, failure isn’t the opposite of success. Failure is a crucial part of success.

Countless successful people and businesses faced a ton of failures on their road to success. Dyson created 5,126 failed prototypes before finally inventing the bagless vacuum cleaner. Abraham Lincoln lost the Senate race of 1858. Michael Jordan didn't make his high school's varsity basketball team the first time he tried out. Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up does.

In fact, failing can actually end up being the very thing that sets you up for success. Studies show that failing in the past makes entrepreneurs more than twice as likely to succeed in the future. Rebrand your failures in light of that fact – you didn’t fail, you simply made yourself twice as likely to succeed!

Ask yourself: If I move forward with a potential opportunity, what is the worst-case scenario that could happen if I fail? Can you live with this? Would life go on? Start viewing failure as a chance to learn and grow.

2. Fear of uncertainty

Resisting change is a natural impulse. We tend to default to what’s easiest and most comfortable. You know – if you stay at your boring dead-end job, at least you know exactly what your day-to-day will look like. If you stay in your cruddy apartment, at least you won’t have to pack your things. If you stay in a bad relationship, at least you're not alone.

In order for things to get better, they’re going to have to change.

Fear of the unknown is so common. But the unknown is only unknown until you know it, and the only way to know it is to move forward and discover it. Take risks and move forward with confidence, trusting that you’ll figure things out along the way.

Acknowledge that more often than not, life’s going to throw you curveballs. The only thing certain in life is uncertainty. But as long as you stay resilient and keep moving forward the best you can, you'll grow, adapt, and become even stronger than you were before.

Think back on the times when things didn’t go according to plan. In those situations, how did you adapt and press forward? What skills did you use to succeed, despite the circumstances?

3. Fear of rejection

On some level, every entrepreneur is at least a little afraid of rejection. When you’re about to make your pitch to investors, you might worry they’ll laugh you out of the room. When you’re about to ask an acquaintance for advice on starting a business, you might be nervous they’ll tell you you’re dumb for trying. When you’re trying to sell your product or service to your customers, you might be afraid no one will buy.

In any of those instances, the worst thing that can happen is that they reject you and say no. But for some reason, that can sound super scary in the moment.

In business, you’re going to face your fair share of rejection. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: that’s actually a good thing.

You don’t need everyone to say “yes” to you. You only need the right people to say “yes” to you.

As you search for that perfect business partner, that ideal investor with deep pockets, that excellent mentor who has total faith in you, you’re going to encounter a lot of people who aren’t a good fit. But in order to find out whether they are or not, you’re just going to have to ask. Don’t take it personally when you get a “no”. You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t believe in you or your vision. Let it roll off your back, and be grateful that they didn’t waste your time any further with a “maybe” or a non-committal “sure.”

And remember – just because someone rejects you doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to succeed. As Dita Von Teese says, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

To help overcome your fear, put yourself in situations where you may get rejected. Ask a mentor or expert that you've been wanting to learn from for virtual coffee or make that sales call you've been dreading to make. The more you get rejected, or are faced with these situations, the more you learn that it will be okay.

4. Fear of not being good enough

Sometimes, the hardest person to please isn’t an investor or a customer or a partner or a parent.

It’s yourself.

So many entrepreneurs struggle with believing they really are good enough to start a business, be successful, and even find happiness. Even when they do experience success, they feel as though they don’t deserve it.

I still experience feelings of self-doubt from time to time. It’s hard to stay positive and confident in the face of uncertainty – and any setbacks can feel devastating when you already question your abilities.

Here’s my advice to those who struggle with that same fear:

Invest in relationships. Find mentors, peers, and friends who see your potential clearly and genuinely believe you deserve to be where you are. Their belief in you will help give you the confidence to pursue your dreams.

Master your emotions. Fear and self-doubt feel like facts, but really they’re merely emotions that are only as powerful as we allow them to be. Acknowledge those feelings for what they are and try not to let them distort your reality. Learning how to recognize fear for what it is, can help you master it.

Stop comparing yourself. Embrace what makes you different and focus on becoming the best version of yourself. Everyone has their own special talents – the key is to find yours and execute on what you’re good at.

The fear of not being good enough is a mindset. No amount of external success will fix it – it’s got to come from within. Self-reflection, supportive relationships and positive self-talk will help you overcome this common fear.

5. Fear of success

You may not think you’re afraid of success – but it’s actually more common than you’d think.

As you move forward, you’re faced with all kinds of new challenges you’ve never encountered before. All of the other fears we talked about tend to get magnified as the stakes get higher. We are worried about what will be different in our lives if we actually succeed.

Trust that you’ll be able to rise to the occasion, just like you have in the past when you were working to get your business off the ground. Build a team of strong people you can lean on and learn from.

Focus on the great things success can offer, such as financial and creative freedom. And allow yourself to celebrate the successes you experience! Enjoy how awesome it is to have your hard work and passion be rewarded.

I’ve felt all 5 of these fears throughout my career – and to be honest, I still feel them from time to time. But I don’t let them dictate my life and stop me from moving forward, I’m way more scared of standing still.

If you’re really serious about letting go of your fears and starting something new, enroll in the Side Hustle Accelerator, a new program I’ve launched with Entrepreneur to give you everything you need to launch your own business. We'll show you how to get started, step-by-step. Click here to learn more

Originally published in Entrepreneur

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Kim Perell is widely recognized entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 15 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies. 

Visit Kim's website at kimperell.com or follow on LinkedInFacebookInstagram  and Twitter

 

 


5 Lessons That Will Stay With Me After the Quarantine

5 Lessons That Will Stay With Me After the Quarantine

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people express their excitement about things returning “back to normal.”

But I’ll be honest with you – that’s the last thing I want.

I want our lives to be even better than they were before. I want all of us to collectively move forward, not backward. I want us to take all the lessons we learned when life slowed to a grinding halt, and use them with intention to make our future that much brighter.

I want us to continue to make time for the things that matter instead of getting right back to the things that never really did.

As life slowly starts returning to “normal,” I invite you to reflect on the things you’ve learned in the past few months and commit to change one thing going forward. There are so many lessons but by picking one thing to do differently, your odds of success increase dramatically.

Here are a few of the major lessons I’ve learned – and how we can do things differently from now on.

1. The little things make a big difference

When life slows down, you tend to notice more. Though we usually miss it, we’re surrounded by so much beauty all the time. My mom opened my eyes to so much of it.

When the pandemic started, my mother moved into our house for a few months and brought her positive spirit with her. Every single morning, she’d go out on a walk and take photos of the beautiful things she saw. Then, without fail, she’d come home and show them to me and my family. Textured bark on trees, snails on the ground, a rainbow, or colorful wildflowers. Her enthusiasm was contagious. She taught me that in the midst of change, we can either find beauty in what life is or complain about what it isn’t. Since then, I’ve appreciated the little things so much more – from my kids’ infectious laughter to a gorgeous sunset to a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Try to keep creating moments of stillness, where you can notice your surroundings and appreciate them.

2. Kindness first

COVID-19 may have rocked our world – but it’s something nearly all of humanity is going through together. I’ve been so impressed and moved by the simple acts of kindness I’ve seen from friends, family, and even strangers on the Internet. When you focus on the good, the good gets better. When you look outside yourself and serve someone else, your problems seem to matter a lot less.

Of course, kindness goes beyond just giving someone a compliment or writing a thank-you note. Sometimes, kindness means fighting for change and speaking up against injustice.

Make it a point to always be kind. You never know what someone else is going through – especially during these trying times. Be generous on every occasion. I promise you’ll never regret it.

3. You decide how you spend your time (and who you spend it with)

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m too busy to do this,” or “I wish I had the time to do that”? Here’s the thing: we all have the same 24 hours in a day. But what you do with it is up to you.

During the pandemic, many of us found ourselves with more time. Time to daydream, create, reflect, and plan. But as life starts to pick up speed again, you don’t have to surrender all of that time. Be intentional with the way you plan your day. Think carefully about the things you’ll start doing and the things you’ll stop doing.

Along with that, be careful about who you let back into your circle. Continue to keep your distance from people and relationships that aren’t healthy for you.

You have the ability and power to make decisions in every area of your life. You are responsible for your happiness, your friendships, and your job. If you don’t like them and want to change them — you can.

4. Change is inevitable – embrace it

Don’t resist change. Adapt along with it. The future may seem especially uncertain these days, but honestly, it always has been. When I graduated from college, I went to work for a company I thought was “stable.” A few years later, it went bankrupt. The only certainty is uncertainty. Plan for the future as best as you know how, but be flexible when things don’t turn out the way you’d expected. Look at change as an opportunity, not an obstacle.

This is especially relevant if you have a business that’s had to pivot during COVID-19. If the things you used to do aren’t working, this is a good time to pivot your business. Use this time to try new things and experiment. Not everything you try out will work. And that’s okay. It may take multiple attempts to figure out what works for you. There has never been a better time to try something new. Resisting change halts progress – embracing change stimulates growth.

5. The most important things in life aren’t things

I know so many parents who have spent more time with their kids and family than ever before due to the pandemic. I’ve been traveling extensively for the last 20 years, and I like to look at these last 3 months in quarantine as a gift.

Life isn’t about work or money or even success. In the end, relationships are truly what matters most. As life starts to get busier, make sure you’re devoting time to what’s most important. Give your family, friends, and loved ones the gift of your time. Love your family (and yourself) enough to say no to things that aren’t a priority. Be intentional about your relationships and invest the time to nurture them.

As our lives start to pick up again, I hope we can all be intentional about the ways we spend our time and the things we choose to focus on.

Instead of going back to normal, let’s move forward together.

What lessons has this unprecedented time taught you? How are you planning on changing your perspective or your habits as life starts picking back up again?

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Kim Perell is widely recognized entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. Learn more about how Kim can help you supercharge your success at Kim Perell or follow her on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

 


5 Life Lessons I Learned From Losing Everything

5 Life Lessons I Learned From Losing Everything

I know what it’s like to lose everything.

I’ve been laid off.

I’ve been broke.

I’ve been bankrupt.

I’ve been criticized.

I’ve been rejected.

I’ve been laughed at.

I’ve been doubted.

I’ve lost my biggest clients.

I’ve lost my best employees.

I’ve lost business partners.

I’ve been served.

I’ve been sued.

I’ve had times I was terrified, devastated, exhausted and wanted to give up.

…But I didn’t.

And that is why I have been successful.

When people look at my life now, I might look like the picture of success, but what you don’t see is that I have faced more failure than success. It has taken me 20 years to get to where I am now.

Ultimately, success is about overcoming failures – a lot of them – continuously – some will be small and some won’t let you sleep at night.

All entrepreneurs face failure and hardship, but the successful ones keep going long after most would have given up.

There are no shortcuts to success. I don’t know anyone who has been really successful who has not had significant failure and challenges along the way.

Right after college, I landed my dream job at an internet startup, a job I believed couldn’t be beat. After just a few short years that company went bankrupt and I had gotten laid off… right after having to lay off most of my friends who I convinced to come work with me. My career was gone and the people around me had every reason to doubt me.

So when I started entertaining the idea of starting my own company, they all told me I’d fail. They told me I had no idea what I was doing. They told me to play it safe.

But if I had listened to them? I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today.

I chose to believe in myself and start my own company, even though everyone around me was telling me not to. I decided to press forward, against all odds.

And that risky little company? Turns out, it wasn’t a failure at all. What started out as a $10k loan from my grandma turned into a startup business run from my kitchen table… which eventually turned into a multimillion-dollar company.

My business was founded on resilience, and my resilience has been tested ever since. But all of those obstacles that I faced only made me stronger.

No matter what you’ve been through, no matter what setbacks you’re currently facing, I believe you can rise to the occasion, be resilient, and achieve success. Here’s how you can face challenges head-on – and be better for it.

1. Believe in yourself.

One of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned is this: your confidence has to be greater than everyone else’s doubt. If you’re attempting anything risky and worth doing, you’ll inevitably have a few doubters. But whether you listen to them or not is your choice. Instead of letting their negativity cloud your mind, zero in on your vision. Keep your gaze on your North Star and continue to prioritize your passion.

Choose to trust yourself. Choose to have faith in your skills and ideas. Believe that you have what it takes to accomplish your vision, no matter what anyone else says. Then, rise to the occasion and work until you prove yourself right!

2. Expect uncertainty.

Often, the only thing certain in life is uncertainty. No matter how perfect your plans are, no matter how well you may have prepared – sometimes, life is going to throw you a curveball. Be flexible and expect the unexpected.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan or prepare for the future as best as you can. Good leaders are always looking toward the future and looking for ways to improve. But it does mean that when circumstances do change, you’ve got to learn to be present and adapt accordingly – not just blindly follow your original plans. Whatever you do, don’t let uncertainty stop you from pressing forward – embrace it and trust that you’ll be able to handle whatever lies ahead.

3. Choose to have a growth mindset.

A person with a fixed mindset believes in limitations. He or she resists change, believing that it is painful and difficult. On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset recognizes that change isn’t just possible, but that it’s also a driver in creativity and success. He or she believes that in every situation, be it good or bad, there’s an opportunity to learn and see things differently. Stumbling blocks turn into stepping stones.

Successful executors understand that not only will difficulties occur, they’ll also present the very best opportunities for growth. While setbacks are usually uncomfortable and even a little scary, they can help us become better. Try to reframe every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.

4. Fail Forward

Did you know that people who have previously failed are twice as likely to succeed compared to first-time entrepreneurs? All entrepreneurs face failure and hardship, but the successful ones keep going long after most would have given up. Because failing isn’t the opposite of success – it’s a crucial step towards it.

In order to face challenges with resilience, understand that that failing doesn’t make you a failure. Deal with obstacles, crises, and setbacks in constructive, creative ways. Do your best to fail forward and thrive in the process of change. And fail often, so you get comfortable with it! Honestly, I believe that if you’re not failing and bouncing back constantly, you’re not trying hard enough. I still fail all the time – it’s a sign that I’m learning and growing.

5. Focus on your vision

When setbacks come (and they will!), it can be tempting to focus on the negative things that are right in front of you. Make sure you never allow setbacks to distract you from the most important thing: your vision. In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to zero in on your vision. Let it guide you to where you need to go, even when you encounter an unexpected fork in the road. Keep your eye on the prize. If you’re deeply committed to your vision, no obstacle will ever be too great for you to overcome.

Resilience is a crucial part of execution. Without the ability to learn from your mistakes, adapt to new circumstances, and bounce back after setbacks, you’ll never be able to execute at your highest level. But as you learn to believe in yourself and expect the unexpected, you’ll be able to face crises with confidence. As you choose to view challenges as opportunities, fail forward, and stay focused on your vision, you’ll be able to reach your true potential and achieve success.

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Kim Perell is widely recognized entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 15 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

Supercharge your Success and visit Kim's website at at Kim Perell or follow her on on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

 


5 Ways to Pivot Your Business During a Pandemic

5 Ways to Pivot Your Business During a Pandemic

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin.

In a matter of weeks everything changed. Uncertainty is the only thing that is certain. Most businesses have been greatly disrupted and negatively impacted. Companies, CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, employees and business-owners are facing a time of great uncertainty and what lies ahead is unclear.

Entrepreneurs know that some of the best businesses come out of the worst times -- because sometimes in our darkest moments, new ideas and innovations provide beacons of light. All we need is the glow of a great idea. What new companies, products, movements will be born out of our new reality? As an entrepreneur and CEO who has weathered the dot-com bubble burst, September 11th, and the market crash in 2008, I know firsthand the potential devastation facing businesses today. The COVID-19 economic impact is unprecedented but there are still opportunities to come out stronger than ever before.

I’ve personally had to pivot many times, and while it can be scary, it can also be a time of growth. Now is the time to experiment, create and innovate. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s tough to pivot your business during times of immense change. Before pivoting, I recommend first to stabilize your business to the best of your ability. It is important to tighten your belt, evaluate your costs and ensure you take the necessary actions to weather the crisis.

There are likely changes you wanted to make in your business but haven't and now is a time to act. Evaluate your talent, review your contracts, decide what is truly necessary to run your business. Make sure you spend your cash wisely. Look closely at your financials to see how you reduce your losses. It’s time to streamline so you can move forward without the weight of unnecessary cost burden.

A business that was weak during a good economy is greatly exposed in a bad economy. If your business is not working now, and was not working well 6 months ago, it may be time to re-examine its long term viability. Winston Churchill once said: "Never let a good crisis go to waste". Use this crisis to get out of businesses that aren’t working and haven’t been for some time. Invest your time and energy on what is working vs what is not working. Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself!

It is also a good time to take advantage of financial resources available. Many of the companies in my portfolio have applied for the federal government’s paycheck protection program. If you haven't already, it is important to educate yourself on the many forms of aid, resources, and support made available.

Once you have stabilized your business it’s time to focus on the future. Here are 5 ways to pivot your business to not only survive, but also to thrive:

1. Embrace the Digital Way

If you’re primarily run out of a brick-and-mortar store, it’s time to find the digital version of whatever work you were doing. Can you deliver your product or service electronically? Restaurants have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, and many have transitioned to online delivery and curbside to-go orders. Panera Bread has taken things a step further, by making it possible for customers to order groceries online along with their usual sandwiches and salads.

If you own a boutique, now is a great time to launch an eCommerce store with a 90-day Shopify trial. If you’re a fitness instructor, you can hold your regular workout classes virtually with Zoom. If you are an interior design company, pivot to virtual consultations, you can also create content with links to buy products. Real Estate agents have embraced a virtual presence, from doing 3D tours, facebook live and virtual walkthroughs, to even featuring homes on TikTok. My local liquor store is offering home delivery, and doing cocktail making courses and wine tasting sessions via Zoom. With everyone stuck at home, the demand for online content is higher than ever.

Ask yourself: what you can provide online?

2. Leverage Your Existing Assets and Resources

Leverage your current assets and resources and align them with your customers’ current needs. What could you change in order to fulfil those needs?

Businesses of all sizes are already making successful pivots in order to fill different customer needs and continue to operate. Cosmetics manufacturers such as LVMH, which owns luxury perfume and makeup brands, have switched to making hand sanitizer, leveraging their expertise and production capabilities. Large clothing manufacturers such as Gap, Nike, Zara, and Brooks Brothers, are using their factories to make masks, gowns and scrubs.

Amid the steep ride-sharing demand decline, Uber launched an On Demand Work Platform, going from ride sharing to labor sharing. Through Uber’s Work Hub, Uber drivers can connect with other Uber platforms including: Uber Eats, Uber Freight, Uber Works, or a growing number of companies using Uber’s system including McDonald's, PepsiCo, UPS, FedEx, and Walgreens. This pivot allows Uber to leverage its largest assets, technology and vetted workforce, and supports drivers in finding access to alternative work.

Ask yourself: What do people need most right now? How can your company fill that need with your existing resources? If your business is unable to operate, is there a way to pivot to digital or a business that is deemed essential?

3. Deepen Loyalty with Existing Customers

We’re all in this together. Be real, authentic and transparent about your efforts to serve your customers as best as you can – and let them know how they can support you in return. Loyal customers are champions for your company and brand ambassadors. Continue to maintain a strong relationship with your clients whether directly, individually, in newsletters, and or/via social media. Show them you care. Trust matters (more than ever)!

With people spending more and more time online, it’s a great time to share relevant and engaging content related to your business. One local interior designer has been sharing photo montages - including a handwashing themed series with a collection of beautiful bathroom images. A local salon is sharing a series of photos of stylists each holding up a sign featuring a different word, collectively telling customers "that we miss them, and we'll see them soon."

Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park that is a favorite for hosting kids birthday parties, has 160 locations that are temporarily closed now. To help give back to families who still want to celebrate while staying at home, Sky Zone is offering free virtual birthday parties for kids for up to 10 guests, supporting parents and keeping employees working. Sky Zone is making a meaningful and memorable impact on children, parents and the community, deepening their customer relationships.

Figure out the best way to engage with your current customers and do so in creative ways.

Ask yourself: How can I best engage and communicate with my customers now? What can I do to encourage my current customers to support my business? What are other companies doing to engage customers that I could also be doing or could help my business?

4. Explore the Benefits of Collaboration

There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The objective of collaboration can be new ideas, exploring synergies, and creating new business partnerships, where 1+1 = 5. Partnerships can help give you access to new customers, new products or new markets. What partners can you work with that also have resources you can leverage? Is there a partner you think could help sell your product or service to their customer base? What could you offer them in exchange? Is there an opportunity to bundle your products together? True partnerships and successful collaborations are win-win.

It’s also important to collaborate with other businesses for support and ideas. Being a local or small business can feel especially isolating, but there is power in numbers and more ideas. Make an effort to connect, whether it’s a neighboring business, a local chamber of commerce, industry trade group, or even a Facebook or LinkedIn group.

Collaboration doesn’t have to be on a grand scale to be effective. For example, once their storefronts closed due to COVID-19, local ice cream parlor NORMAL Ice Cream partnered with Diabolical Records to offer a home-delivered package deal of 3 pints of ice cream and $30 worth of vintage records for $50. They announced the partnership on their social media pages and sold out within hours!

Many companies have forged innovative partnerships during this time.

Ask yourself: Who could I collaborate with? What businesses do I have synergies with or common customer profiles? What current partnerships would be mutually beneficial to my business?

5. Try and Fail (and Try Again!)

There has never been a better time to try (and fail!). Now is the time to experiment. Quickly launch new ideas with minimal investment. Focus on results. Learn and improve with each iteration. Not everything you try out will work. And that’s okay. Expect to fail. Move on. It may take multiple attempts to figure out what works for you. Be brave. Have courage. Persistence pays off in the end.

There are many famous pivots. YouTube was once a video dating site. Twitter was once a podcasting network named Odeo. Play-doh was once a wall cleaner that pivoted to a beloved children’s toy.

Even the most successful and famous companies have had numerous failures - some of which you may not even remember - Google's social media Orkut, Coca Cola launching Coke Max, and Amazon’s Fire phone. Inventor Sir James Dyson created 5,126 vacuum designs until he finally invented a bagless vacuum that worked.

Ask yourself: If I do a small test of a new idea and it fails, what is the worst that can happen and what knowledge can I gain from trying? How can exploring a new partnership or collaboration benefit me?

Embrace the Pivot:

If your business has been greatly impacted by the current crisis, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that great companies can be built in hard times. I started my first company after the dot-com bubble burst which eventually grew to over $100M in annual revenue. Many of the successful companies you see today - WhatsApp, Uber, Credit Karma, Pinterest, Slack, Venmo, and Square were all founded during the 2008 Recession. Embrace the pivot! Don’t focus on what you can’t control...think about what you CAN.

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Kim Perell is widely recognized executive, entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 16 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

You can visit Kim's website at at Kim Perell or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

 


5 Simple Ways to Stay Positive & Productive

5 Simple Ways to Stay Positive & Productive

These are unprecedented times and with so much uncertainty it’s hard not to feel scared and uncertain about the future. As we enter this time, it is important to seek new places to find joy, learning and inspiration. For those of you looking for something else to do besides watch the news, scroll social media, or binge on Netflix, I wanted to share the top 5 ways I’m staying positive and productive.

I know it seems all but impossible to think of possible silver lining at this time when many of us are worried about the health and finances of ourselves or a friend or family member but taking care of ourselves lowers stress, and maintains both mental and physical health. Remaining productive is more important than ever. Don’t focus on what you can’t do...think about what you CAN accomplish during this time.

1. Set a Schedule

With 4 kids 5 and under I have had to adjust my schedule significantly to find a new “normal” . Having a set schedule gives me a sense of purpose and sets me up for a productive day. It's easy to stay in my PJs all day, but I feel so much better after I shower and have breakfast with my family before homeschooling starts. Morning rituals set you up for a productive day ahead. I also find it helpful to make a list each night of the top 5 priorities I need to accomplish in the day ahead. There are so many distractions at home, the list keeps me on track so I don't mistake busyness for progress. Plus, I feel so productive at the end of the day checking things off the list. They can be anything from laundry, to taking a walk outside, to an investor call. Be intentional with your time. I also put a limit on my daily screen time, especially now when it is so easy to get consumed by the media. This also helps to ensure I don't mistakenly get lost in endless hours of digital distractions.

2. Reinvest in your Relationships

Now is a perfect time to nurture any and all your relationships. Think of someone you care about who you haven’t talked to in a while and make it a point to reconnect (today!), even if it’s just with a quick text, email or a five-minute phone call. Let them know you are thinking of them and how much you value your relationship. You can also call up friends you may have lost touch with that you miss having in your life. It’s the perfect time to reconnect. It’ll make you feel good and remind you of all of the people who are in your corner. Plus, it’ll help you keep your life centered on what’s really important: the people in it.

There are great tips and tricks to stay connected with family and friends during this time of social distancing. I use Facetime daily to stay in touch with my parents and family in Oregon and my twin sister in LA, the bonus is my kids love it too. It’s important we continue to celebrate life’s significant moments - birthdays, anniversaries, babies, even if they are virtual. We are celebrating my father-in-laws 70th birthday on virtual video and I have a friend who is doing a gender reveal party on Zoom (which offers free video and phone conferencing for up to 100 people for a max of 40 minutes at a time). You can even change your Zoom background to hide a messy kitchen or kids playing behind you. Yesterday, I was on a Zoom call with someone scuba diving with bright yellow fish swimming by, someone on a beach in Bora Bora, and someone in outer space.

3. Unleash Your Inner Creativity

This is the perfect time to pursue a new at home hobby. You can read, cook, paint, write, sing, and dance. And thanks to the internet and YouTube, you can learn new hobbies or sharpen your hobby skills for free. Whether it’s cooking, art, writing, gardening, knitting, calligraphy, scrapbooking, or origami.

It's also a great time to read an inspiring book. There have never been more ways to access great writers and great thoughts - whether it’s audio, download, or physical books from Audible, Amazon, or Scribd . There are also great apps like Blinkist (for non-fiction) and others that offer key takeaway written or audio summaries for quick review. Apple Books (formerly iBooks) also announced a free ‘stay at home’ collection of read-alongs for kids, cozy mysteries, and audiobooks.

Some recommended books for inspiration: The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, and The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. I also wrote The Execution Factor: The One Skill that Drives Success, designed to help people overcome obstacles and achieve success in business and life, based on my own experiences of hardship as an entrepreneur.

You can also use your imagination and get creative inside your home and yard. Whether it’s families creating “special” additional spaces and rooms in the form of a couch fort or putting up a tent in your backyard to create another room while enjoying the outdoors. We set up a tent in our backyard and it has provided hours of fun and entertainment, creating a special new kid space. When they get tired of it, I may convert it into an office! I also know people working from home who are turning their cars into phone booths for virtual work meetings.

4. Practice Gratitude

It feels like everyday can bring a new worry or new fear about what is going on with the pandemic. One of the best ways to combat worry, fear and anxiety is to practice gratitude. Gratitude is proven to help you reduce stress, get better sleep and stay healthier. A Harvard Medical School study showed that people who practice gratitude lead happier lives, are more optimistic, and have lower stress levels and better health overall.

A simple to implement practice is to start and end each day with 3 things you are grateful for (there is also a great journal designed for this - The 5 Minute Journal). You can make gratitude a shared practice at family dinner and have everyone share one thing they are grateful for.

We all have things we can be grateful for. Whether it is your health, your family, your pet, the food on your table, the many people working at hospitals, grocery stores, warehouses, pharmacies, delivery drivers, and many others who are working tirelessly at the frontlines to support all of us and the community.

Be sure to also practice self-gratitude. Reflect on what you are doing well, or what you have accomplished (no matter how small), think of your personal strengths that are helping you and the people in your life positively handle this crisis. It’s important we give as much compassion to ourselves as we do others. Adding simple touches to your most frequented rooms to inspire you or put you in a positive mindset are also great. One friend framed simple positive affirmations in her home work space so she is able to look at them where she spends the most time every day.

5. Start a Side Hustle

Nearly half (45%) of U.S. workers say they earn extra income on the side (according to a 2019 Bankrate.com report). As the economy feels uncertain and many individuals are impacted financially, having multiple streams of income has become top of mind for many.

This could be the perfect time for you to consider pursuing one or more Side Hustles based on your lifestyle, schedule, skill set, and income needs. Some areas of immediate opportunity due to increased demand for side hustles right now include care workers, package and grocery delivery, grocery shopping, and online tutoring & teaching.

Side Hustles and gig economy positions are expected to continue to play a key role in these times and beyond as businesses value the flexibility provided as they navigate uncertain demand. There is also a greater need for innovative thinking, entrepreneurship, out-of-the-box solutions and problem solving than ever before. Side Hustles are a great way to earn income, pursue passions, and build your entrepreneurial skill set.

As an entrepreneur who started my first business from my kitchen table, I’m very passionate about Side Hustles, and I recently partnered with Women Entrepreneur for an initiative that seeks to support 20,000 women starting side hustles in 2020. You can learn more about it here at sidehustlestartupkit.com. Technology has made it easier to find the right side hustle that is perfect for you, and to continue to advance your knowledge and upgrade your side hustle. LinkedIn also posted a great article this week on who is hiring right now.

You can’t change the current situation, you can only change how you react to it. You have the power to be positive and productive. Set a schedule, reinvest in your relationships, practice gratitude and try something new.

When fear, anxiety, frustration, or stress start to kick in, turn off the news, put down your phone and focus on things that make you feel happy, passionate, and in control.

Think positive thoughts. Speak positive words. Choose a positive attitude.

You have the power to choose what to focus on.

#StayPositive #StrongerTogether #Inspiration #Gratitude

Kim Perell is widely recognized executive, entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help young entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 15 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

 

 


3 Ways to Make Your Relationships the Best They Can Be in 2020!

3 Ways to Make Your Relationships the Best They Can Be in 2020!

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn

We are much more influenced by the people we hang out with than we imagine. Others don’t just give us ideas and feedback about ourselves; they can affect our energy, too.

Because of this, I take stock of the people in my life every year, sometimes reflecting on my relationships in the moment as well. I categorize them according to who lifts me up, who brings me down and who does neither. I make a conscious point to spend more time with the people who inspire me and less time with the people who either hold me back or don’t positively impact me.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop hanging out with anyone who isn’t a Nobel Prize winner—inspiration and positivity come in a variety of forms. I was very inspired by my Uber driver the other day, for example. He told me that he was working 14 hours a day in the military while driving for Uber on the side. His above-and-beyond work ethic inspired me.

It’s crucial to be curious about other people and to try to understand what makes them tick. Find other people who are passionate about life and what they do, and always stay open to new relationships by being curious about people.

Seeking out new connections inevitably means reducing time spent with some of the older ones. You don’t need to cut ties completely unless they’re truly toxic. The key is to understand the value of each of your relationships. You certainly don’t need to be spending time with people who drain your energy or seed doubt in your ability to execute. The more you surround yourself with amazing people, the more you’re called to step into greatness.

The law of averages tells us that in order to increase your wins, you have to increase your losses. This theory fits perfectly with the practice of taking stock of your relationships. Think about it: You have to meet many people in order to find the ones who have a truly positive influence on your life. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find those influential relationships, personal and professional. It involves putting yourself out there and engaging with some people who might offer you nothing.

I call this process of evaluating existing relationships a “life audit.” If a relationship isn’t helping you grow or making you happy, it might be better to significantly reduce your contact or even sever ties completely. My personal audits help me identify who’s a positive influence. Making a conscious effort to consider my relationships has been extremely rewarding.

I am constantly evaluating who’s emotionally draining me and who’s giving me energy. If you aren’t motivated, inspired or challenged by the people you spend time with, it’s harder to be successful and happy. Being with people who believe in you and provide the strength you need to turn your dreams into reality is critical because wherever they’re going, you’re going, too. These audits help me better understand my relationships and the roles different people have in my life, as well as my role in the lives of others.

Start with three key steps to make your personal and professional relationships the best they can be:

1. Proactively seek new relationships.

You should seek out those who inspire you at work and spend time with them. Build relationships with them apart from your job. Send a note, ask them to coffee or simply approach them at a work event. Connect with new people outside of work, too. Attend industry wide events and explore personal hobbies. After all, to surround yourself with inspiring people, you have to connect with them first.

2. Associate with people who are different from you.

Find people who succeed where you fail and try to learn from their journeys. Chances are you have something to offer them, too. Although our instinct is to surround ourselves with people who are similar to us, it’s also important to branch out and converse with people who might have a different approach.

3. Keep your standards high.

Remember, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. As new people enter your life, ask yourself who strengthens you and who drains you. Who helps you succeed and who highlights your failures? Does the idea of spending time with a person excite your spirit or sap your energy? Decide who’s worth your time and who isn’t. Time is your most valuable asset, so use what you do have on the people who bring out the positive in you.

At first, the idea of removing people from your life or limiting your interactions with them might seem ruthless. It might sound like the cold hearted behavior of someone who doesn’t care about people, but it’s actually a heart-centered process that allows you to create healthy relationships. Through it, you can create a more productive, inspiring and emotionally fulfilling life!

Change the course of your life in 5 minutes! Access My Exclusive Life Audit Here.

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Kim Perell is widely recognized executive, entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help young entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 14 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

For more tips on how to Supercharge your Success you can sign up for Kim's weekly newsletter at Kim Perell or follow her on on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

 


5 Simple Strategies to Overcome Your Fear of Failure

5 Simple Strategies to Overcome Your Fear of Failure

They say the only thing we have to fear is fear itself… but that doesn’t stop people from being afraid of pretty much everything. From spiders to public speaking to clowns, life can seem pretty scary. If we’re not careful, fear can dictate our decisions, our actions, and ultimately our outcomes.

Fear of failure is one of the most common and threatening phobias, especially among hopeful entrepreneurs. Mohsin Shafique even claims it’s the top reason people don’t set goals or try new things. In fact, a recent study found that 33% of Americans say fear of failure holds them back from starting a business.

Trust me, I’ve felt that. Before I first started my digital advertising business at my kitchen table, I was terrified. Sure, I grew up with two entrepreneurs for parents and I believed in myself most of the time… but that didn’t mean I knew what I was doing. At times, I felt totally in over my head.

Even the most confident of entrepreneurs aren’t immune to the fear, self-doubt, and uncertainty that tend to accompany just about any risk — but many of them start businesses anyway. So, what’s the difference between successful entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs whose fears hold them back?

It’s all about how they address fear.

Some people zero in on that little voice that says they’ll fail and decide to quit while they’re ahead — preferring to let opportunities pass them by rather than taking a risk. But others listen to hopeful, supportive voices. They ignore fear, not because it doesn’t exist but because it isn’t helping them get to where they want to be.

When I started my business, I knew there was a very real possibility I’d fail. And I knew all too well what that sting of failure felt like. But I kept going anyway. While that’s easier said than done, it’s possible for anyone to do the same. Here’s how you can overcome your fear of failure and start doing the things you’ve always dreamed of doing:

  1. Acknowledge your fear. Being afraid of failure isn’t a sign that something’s wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. Fear is a natural human emotion. Love yourself enough to let yourself feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Then, discuss your fears with people you trust and examine why you feel that way. Both of my parents knew what it was like to take risks and start a business, so talking with them about my worries always made me feel validated and capable.
  2. Don’t internalize failure. When things don’t go the way you hoped, do your best not to blame yourself. Failure isn’t a reflection of your self-worth or ability — it’s an unavoidable part of life that’s totally necessary for personal growth. In other words, failure doesn’t make you a failure. You can fail and still be a strong, smart, capable person who’s destined for success.
  3. Focus on the things you CAN control. If starting a business or taking on a huge project feels totally overwhelming, start small. Set measurable, achievable, short-term goals you can succeed in on the road to success. It’ll help you think more positively and develop more confidence in your abilities.
  4. Learn from successful “failures.” Successful people aren’t just people who have never failed. Challenges and missteps always precede success. Let’s take me, for instance. At 23, I had just gotten fired from my job. The company I worked for went totally bankrupt. I was broke, directionless, and unemployed. But getting fired from that job was the catalyst for me to start my own company — the successful one that made me a multimillionaire by the time I was 30.

Here are a few other famous examples: Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team… then went on to win six NBA championships and five MVP awards. Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was rejected by 27 different publishers. He later went on to sell over 600 million copies worldwide. Sir James Dyson spent his entire life savings and created 5,126 failed prototypes before finally inventing his bagless vacuum cleaner. His net worth is now $4.5 billion.

So if you’ve had your fair share of failures, you’re in good company! Learn from your own mistakes and from the failures of those who’ve gone before you.

  1. Get good at failing. Failure is an inevitable part of life… so you may as well get good at it. Economist Tim Harford explains, “To be terrible with failure is either to be so scared of it that you never do anything interesting, or alternatively to be so terrified of admitting it that you continue with a disastrous course of action and you just continue to fail because you tell yourself you’re not failing.” Neither of those options are good!

Over the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of chances to become more resilient and get good at failing. I’ll never forget the weekend in 2006 when I got a phone call from my tech guy telling me our server had failed and couldn’t be fixed. We didn’t have a backup server, and all of our data — practically my entire business — was unrecoverable. I panicked. For a moment, I even considered closing up shop. But instead, I went into work on Monday and took full responsibility. I personally reached out to our clients one by one to explain what had happened. I assumed all the blame and asked for their patience and support as we remedied the situation. Then, I worked around the clock to fix things. Remarkably, not a single client deserted us in the weeks it took to get things back on track. I acknowledged the problem, worked tirelessly to solve it, and then resolved to never let a mistake like that happen again. And, you know what? Our company was stronger for it, and so was I. I failed forward.

When you do fail, acknowledge it, learn from it, and then do your best to be better because of it. Don’t allow past failures to get in the way of future successes.

The world needs everything you have to offer it. As you embrace your fears for what they really are and press forward courageously, you’ll find that success is just as real a possibility as failure is. Work hard, focus on what you can achieve, fail the best you can, and learn every step of the way. It’ll make the little (and big!) victories that much sweeter.

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Kim Perell is widely recognized executive, entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help young entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 80 start-ups, 14 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.

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