Monthly Archives: March 2016

Meet the Entrepreneur 9: Harnessing Energy

Entrepreneurs and energy“Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.”

Tony Robbins

The one thing that most entrepreneurs do not lack is energy. They seem to be born with an insatiable drive to get things done and to work very extended hours. This is both admirable and overwhelming. Those who’ve worked in entrepreneurial businesses will know the normal entrepreneurial culture: nothing that anyone else does is ever enough.

When one human being is planning, doing and achieving at a rate triple that of everyone else, it makes the average worker appear stagnant.  Walt Disney said: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” This is the mantra of many entrepreneurs. And it works.

With regards to the employees who can never keep up and feel that everything they do is never good enough, it is certainly not for the entrepreneur to slow his pace to pacify his workers. Instead there is a need to focus on the admiration and use it as a motivational tool to inspire employees to give their all and raise their personal standards.

If one person can achieve beyond average, so can everyone else. 

“I’m here to build something for the long-term. Anything else is a distraction.”

Mark Zuckerberg


Meet the entrepreneur 8: Managing emotions

Entrepreneurs and managing emotionEmotions are what colour our lives. They are the what give experiences meaning and memorability. The one thing that entrepreneurs are renowned for is their passion – and emotion! Entrepreneurs tend to be colourful in both a good and a bad way. 

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill.

It’s often not a loss of enthusiasm, but rather the display of frustration that differentiates entrepreneurs. Temper tantrums, blowing hot and cold, and extreme displays of emotion are all behaviours that those who work with entrepreneurs will be very familiar with.

The problem is not the display of emotion, but rather the impact that the display has on others.

For employees who are sensitive to the mood of others, this behaviour can be extremely stressful and even detrimental. It is unlikely that the entrepreneur is aware of their impact on others, because often once their display is over, they move on.

While emotional displays are common in many entrepreneurs, the entrepreneur needs to become cognisant of her ups and downs, how she expresses her emotion, and the impact this has on those around her. 

Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will give the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.

Jim Rohn

Meet the entrepreneur 7: Measuring performance

Entrepreneurship and measuring performance

“What gets measured, gets done!”

The principle is simple: If you can quantify something, you can immediately measure whether progress has been made.

We know that entrepreneurs by nature are not the best managers, mainly because they’re ‘action people’ who are driven by getting things done themselves.  So how does measuring things help them?

It’s simple.  For the entrepreneur, a key performance dashboard is the most useful tool that they can implement in their business.

This dashboard provides them with the clarity to prioritise what they deem the most important, and to place specific criteria onto each performance indicator.

For many people, implementing some form of measurement enhances motivation. It also puts in place a very clear and non-debatable expectation from the entrepreneur to his staff.

Traditionally, entrepreneurs are not the best performance managers in the world. They expect everyone to embody their passion, drive and energy, and tend not to enjoy looking over people’s shoulders to make sure they’re doing their best work. The implementation of key performance measurements increases accountability. Either something was done or it wasn’t. Either the standards were met, or they weren’t.

Placing measurement is not just a matter of thumb sucking a whole bunch of figures – it is a diligent and deliberate process through which the right actions are measured, according to the right criteria, at the right time.

Most importantly, know what you want to know before you even think of measuring it. There is a difference between measuring performance and measuring an outcome. Positive performance tends to have a positive impact on the outcome.

There’s a corollary to the saying, and that is: “What gets measured, can be managed!” An effective measurement dashboard makes this a reality for every entrepreneur.

Meet the entrepreneur 6: Communication

Communication at work

Communication has been cited as the biggest problem in South African companies. But surely the smaller the company, the easier the communication? It would make sense that since we all talk to each other daily, that we would know how to communicate, but this is rarely the case.

Here is how the problem starts: the entrepreneur knows what  she or he is doing and what they want to do. Their plan is so exciting and obvious to them that they cannot understand why everyone else is not on board.

The blatant gap is that no one else, or just a limited group of people, are actually told what is going on, or consulted with. The problems start to surface when the staff keep on doing whatever they always done, not knowing the goal posts have moved.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of an entrepreneur is their tendency to change direction with the market. As their focus changes, so does their action plan, and so too everyone else’s key performance areas.

Communication is not simply about telling others what is on your mind. It is a cognitive and emotional process in which one person is present in another’s world during the process of the discussion. 

Active listening and constructive feedback ensure that another person’s perspective enhances yours, moving an organisation forward like one smooth coordinated organism. By communicating with staff, the entrepreneur not only shares his or her dream, but the staff become part of the dream, and the entrepreneur gains the advantage of the staff’s thoughts and perspectives.

Talk is not cheap, it is highly valuable and incredibly effective.

Speak to a business coach today.  The first session is FREE.