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Sometimes, no matter how experienced we are or how much we have accomplished, we all can use a little help to keep going, a bit of motivation if you will.
In the face of the inevitable obstacles we are going to encounter, here are ideas that have worked for me, my friends who run both entrepreneurial and micro businesses, and others I talked to.
At the end of this post, I am going to ask you to tell me what motivational techniques have worked for you–just click the “comment button; if I get enough good ideas I will do a subsequent blog crediting you, of course–but first the list.
Some of these will resonate with you.
1. Necessity. A lot of my friends are incredibly literal. When asked what keeps them going, they point to the mortgage that has to be paid or an elderly parent’s medical bills they are responsible for. Says one, “John Wayne got it right. ‘A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.’ And that applies to women, too.” (I have to admit I could relate to this response. At one point, three of my kids were attending private colleges simultaneously. During that period, I took to saying “I can’t afford either writer’s block or sloth.”)
2. Quotes. Inspirational quotes were cited by many, but how they used them were as unique as they are. Some literally had a wall or white board filled with quotes they had discovered through the years, while others took to putting a particular favorite (such as “just keep swimming,” from the kids’ movie Finding Nemo, taped to their monitor or they used a favorite quote as a screensaver. For a great list of quotes, see my Forbes colleague Kevin Kruse’s recommendations.
3. Employees are relying on you. This is related to the necessity argument. An extremely high number of entrepreneurs I talked to mentioned all the people who could be potentially out of work, if the entrepreneur did less than their absolute best and their company suffered. Feeling responsible for their employees’ economic future kept them going.
4. Personal pride. It was hard to get people to admit to this one until they had a second (or third) glass of wine. But although they rarely talk about it publically, many entrepreneurs are extremely proud of what they had accomplished and take (usually quiet) satisfaction in keep the enterprise going no matter what problems arise.
5. A mission to change the world. Not everyone was evocative as Steve Jobs (who used to tell Apple employees ”we are going to make insanely great products”) but a significant number of the entrepreneurs and business people I talked to truly believe their offerings will make the world a better place. It is the deeply help belief in that mission that keeps them going.
6. Support groups. This provides benefits in one of two ways (and it was possible for one group to supply both.) Either the entrepreneur met periodically with other entrepreneurs who could offer words of encouragment and advice when they were stuck, or even if they didn’t ask for advice, simply being associated with other successful people made the entrepreneur work harder. He didn’t want to fall behind his peers.
7. They have a chip on their shoulder. More people than I would have thought say they keep going no matter what to prove to all the people “who told me I would never be successful, that they were wrong.” Intriguingly, that chip didn’t go away once they were successful.
8. Consider the alternative. This one, too, took two forms. To keep themselves going, some entrepreneurs either thought back to the days before they started their companies and recalled how unhappy they were working for someone else. Or they pictured what it would be like to once again have a boss. Either image, they said, was enough to keep them plugging away.
9. A legacy. Knowing that their company may be the only real thing they are remembered for, or hoping that their kids will take over the business someday, keeps many entrepreneurs going, when times get tough or they simply get tired.
10. Create Momentum. This one was cited by just about everyone I talked to. Goals like: $1 million in sales within the first year can sound awfully daunting from a standing start, i.e. you are beginning with no revenues. But, if you say, “let’s get $83,333.33 coming in this month; and $83,333 next month,” the numbers don’t seem as big, and you get a chance to celebrate 12 small wins, as well as the one big one, when you hit $1 million in sales.
11. Get a Diagnosis. Here’s how one entrepreneur described this one for me. “You know when you are physically feeling lousy and know it is more than a cold or the flu, but you don’t know what it is? Simply not knowing is worrisome. Once you get a diagnosis—even if it something bad like pneumonia—you actually feel better because you know what it is and what you are up against It is the same for me in my business. If I feel bad but I get a friend—or even a shrink—to tell me what is going on, I feel better once I have a name for it. That, in and of itself, is enough for me to come up with a battleplan to keep going.”
12. Visualization. This one has never worked for me, although several of the people I talked to swear by it. They say focusing on what success will ultimately look like keeps them going. I worry that having fixed image of success could keep you from pursuing other opportunities that you could encounter on the way, but I am including this one here because it seems to work for so many.
13. Exercise. Think. Sometimes being tired, depressed and wrung out is “simply” a matter of over-work or being out of shape (or both.) Taking a break—at regular points–could be enough to keep you going. And at the very least, if you get into shape you will have more energy—even if your exercise program doesn’t do a darn thing to improve your company’s performance.
14. Learn from your mistakes. Having things go wrong—you don’t get the sale; the client hates your solution to their problem—is enough to get anyone demotivated (if that is a word.) You are going to feel bad. Accept that. And give yourself a SHORT period to wallow. Then learn from what went wrong. That way you will be turning the rejection into something you can benefit from going forward. It sounds simplistic and cliched, of course, and it is extremely difficult to do. But it is true. And more importantly, it does work.
15. Don’t Get In Your Own Way. There will be enough circumstances beyond your control which could take the wind out of your sails, as my grandmother used to say. Don’t make your life harder than it has to be. Simplify everything you can. (Leaving yourself 10 minutes less than you need to get to the airport is never a good idea.) Delegate the stuff you are bad at. And become as organized as humanly possible. Stress is the enemy of creativity. And creating more stress than you have to for yourself is simply dumb.
16. Keep score. This one is for all the hard charging, Type As out there. If you are keeping a running tally of the jobs completed, clients landed, sales recorded since you first opened your doors, seeing the numbers increase–and wanting them to increase further–can be a great motivating force. Just looking at the scoreboard, and knowing that you need to get the numbers higher, can keep you fired up.
17. Keep telling yourself the best way to predict the future is to create it. And then go create it. That’s my list. What’s yours? What is the one thing–or things–that helps keeps your motivated?
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Even if we like it or not, we all are living in a hyper-connected where we have to rely on electronic devices to go through the majority of our daily tasks.
The whole NSA episode that exploded last year has put serious questions on our privacy which has hit the panic button for many a people. The section which is fretting the most is the business community for whom keeping their private data away from surveillance is crucial. So is there a smartphone that is really surveillance proof or rather NSA-proof as some might want to know? Till now, businessmen were mostly using iPhone as their choice of smartphone but it’s really not as pro-privacy as it seems despite the finger-print reader on the iPhone 5S which is more or less useless. But finally there is one option tailor-made for those looking for top-notch mobile privacy; at least that’s what the company or rather companies that have come up with the smartphone are claiming. The Blackphone which has been brought into existence by Silent Circle and Geeksphone is being touted as the most secure smartphone there is.
The Blackphone was first teased in January but most of the details were not made public until now. The two companies together unveiled the device at the Mobile World Congress on Monday and if the claims are true, this device can very well become the first choice for businessmen and all those who are looking for a privacy-focused smartphone. The device runs on PrivatOS which is a modified version of Android that has been specially designed to keep user data secure and also comes with Silent Circle’s suite of privacy apps, which encrypt and secure users’ calls, text messages and address books. How hack-proof and secure the phone and the apps are yet to be tested although. Much like other premium smartphones, the Blackphone packs mostly the latest hardware which includes a 4.7-inch HD screen, a 2 GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera and 16 gigabytes of storage. The smartphone has been priced at $629 for an unlocked version and if it really can do what is claims then the device isn’t expensive. But if it doesn’t, then it’s just another fancy Android smartphone with a big price-tag. Those who wish to buy one can pre-order the Blackphone from its official website and the company will start shipping it by June.
Ferrari is switching to a turbocharged V-8 engine in its California coupe-convertible to help cut fuel consumption.
The Fiat-owned supercar maker will debut the California T, which replaces the current California, at the Geneva auto show on March 3. The company added the letter "T" to the model's name to emphasize the turbocharged engine that replaces the naturally aspirated V-8 unit in the current car.
Ferrari today released details and pictures of the California T. It said fuel consumption is reduced by 15 percent in the car in typical daily use compared with the current model despite an increase in performance. The company also said it has achieved "virtually zero turbo lag" in the California T.
The car is powered by a 552-hp, 3.9-liter direct-injection engine. It has a top speed of 316kph (196 mph) and accelerates from 0 to 100kph in 3.6 seconds.
Ferrari says it cut fuel consumption to 10.5 liters per 100km (22 mpg U.S; 27 mpg UK) and CO2 emissions to 250 grams per kilometer. The current car, which has a 483-hp, 4.3-liter V-8, uses 13 liters of gasoline per 100km and has CO2 emissions of 299g/km.
The California T has a hardtop roof that closes in 14 seconds.
The California T has a new steering box, a new suspension set up and the latest evolution of the company's F-1 Trac traction control system. It is also fitted with a new infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen.
Just like the current model, the front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive California T is a 2+2 seater with a retractable hardtop that closes in 14 seconds. The new model keeps the same overall dimensions as the current car but its body has been redesigned by Ferrari's styling center and Pininfarina.
The California T is 4570 mm long and has a dry weight of 1625 kg.
The California T will go on sale in Europe in the summer. U.S deliveries begin in the second half.
Ferrari sees turbocharged engines as a way to cut fuel consumption without reducing performance. Its last turbocharged production car, the F40, was sold in the 1980s.
The company has not yet disclosed pricing for the California T. The current California is Ferrari's entry model with prices starting at 186,723 euros in Italy. The California T likely will continue to be the brand's lowest priced model.
Tables for two are a hot commodity on February 14.
These five restaurants are especially enticing, with innovative Valentine’s Day menus that engage both the heart and the mind.
Aquavit, New York
Red is the theme of the evening at this modern Nordic restaurant. The four-course menu includes Maine lobster with blood oranges and sea urchin, or smoked lamb tartare with bright watermelon radishes. Scottish salmon is cured with bull’s-blood beets, and seared diver scallops are paired with red sauerkraut. $250 per person with wine pairings. (212.307.7311, www.aquavit.org)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Singapore
The eight-course menu here begins with round-trip transportation in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce. The first course, Le Caviar Impérial, includes caviar in a coral infusion and green asparagus with lemon balm leaves. Delicacies such as black-truffle soup and lobster in a sauce of black Malabar pepper follow. $1,250 per couple. (+65.6577.6688, www.rwsentosa.com)
Hatfield’s, Los Angeles
A deviled quail egg with smoked trout, goat cheese, and apple starts the six-course meal at Karen and Quinn Hatfield’s quietly glamorous restaurant. Karen oversees pastry, while her husband Quinn runs the savory side of the kitchen. For February 14, the couple’s combined efforts will include braised pork belly with creamy beluga lentils, slow-cooked beef-rib pastrami accented with smoked honshimeji mushrooms and grainy mustard butter, and a Meyer-lemon custard “tart” with huckleberries and blood-orange sorbet. $400 per couple with wine pairings. (323.935.2977, www.hatfieldsrestaurant.com)
The Musket Room, New York
After only four months, this new restaurant from the New Zealand chef Matt Lambert has already earned a Michelin star (becoming the youngest New York restaurant to do so). Lambert is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a 10-course tasting menu that includes uni custard with squid ink and caviar, foie gras torchon with maple syrup and apple, New Zealand red deer with gin, and irresistible pumpkin-pie doughnuts. $680 per couple with beverage pairings. (212.219.0764, www.musketroom.com)
Nobu, London Berkeley St.
The six-course omakase menu for Valentine’s Day features grilled king-crab legs with quinoa and tosazu truffle, crispy shrimp harumaki with caviar, venison loin with wasabi salsa, and selections of sushi and sashimi. Approximately $500 per couple with wine pairings. (+44.207.290.9222, www.noburestaurants.com)
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The indubitable winner of the eyewear style stakes this season goes to Gucci.
The fashion label has given its Spring 2014 collection the web ribbon treatment – expect to find the Gucci stripe in the form of a grosgrain ribbon on the temples of all sunglasses and eyewear.
At the 2014 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, the watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the latest addition to its renowned Grande Reverso series, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931.
The new watch pays tribute to the art deco design of the original Grande Reverso, which was created at the request of polo players who wanted a way to protect their watches’ crystals during hard-hitting matches.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s solution was to design a case that allows its wearer to flip over the watch’s face, thus protecting it from impacts.
The new Ultra Thin 1931 sports a rose-gold case and a chocolate-colored dial that pairs perfectly with its leather strap, which, in honor of the watch’s polo heritage, is created by the famed Argentinian polo-boot maker Casa Fagliano.
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance.
TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.
While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.
They Appreciate What They Have
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.
They Avoid Asking “What If?”
“What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go.
They Stay Positive
Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.
Given the importance of keeping stress intermittent, it’s easy to see how taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels.
Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule. If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it, and as your coworkers begin to accept the time you spend offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.
They Limit Their Caffeine Intake
Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.
I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.
They Squash Negative Self-Talk
A big step in managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things, your inner voice says, “It’s time to stop and write them down.” Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.
You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.
They Reframe Their Perspective
Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things—not everything—and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.
The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.
This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.
They Use Their Support System
It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.
The coveted Isle of Gaia has finally become available for purchase.
Touted as the perfect millionaires' playground, Gaia is an idyllic paradise surrounded by the calm crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
These waters are protected by north-eastern winds and the region is marvellous for water sports, sailing, fishing, deep sea diving and swimming. A picture perfect paradise that you can own.
The island is 43 acres (17.5 Ha) in size with approval to build 6 villas and permission to subdivide into 6 plots. The Isle of Gaia has clear ownership papers – a clean company owned Island.
This beautiful Island is part of the Echinades, which is among the Ionian Island group. The Ionian Islands are a small group of islands just off the western Greek seaboard.
Price Request: € 3.750.000
For more information contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moscow's first-ever ice terrace with a bar has opened at the Reka Moscow restaurant in the heart of Russia's capital.
Almost twenty tons of pure Siberian ice was used for the creation of the 120 square meter area which can seat up to 80 people. Here, fashionable Muscovites will be able to drink their favorite cocktail surrounded by a unique ice interior and comfortable warmth, thanks to an infrared heating system.
The highlight of the opening was the sale of the world's most expensive cocktail. The cocktail contained three 1-1,5-carat diamonds from the event's jewelry sponsor, the Italian company Crivelli, and went for a cool $50,000. Andrey Melnikov, an entrepreneur and regular guest at Reka Moscow, was the proud buyer of the exclusive cocktail. At the close of the evening Crivelli ran a raffle in which more than 100 guests took part and where a pendant could be won.
Restaurants with terraces may not be special. But since summers are short and winters never seem to end in Russia, Michel Lombardi, Reka Moscow's head chef, envisioned giving Moscow's high society the chance to eat out for a change: "I like adventures. My whole career has been an adventure - not least of which was my move to Russia. The harsh winters, adjusting to a new culture and especially to life in the kitchen here - it all was a challenge. But now, just two years later, I feel completely at home. My feeling is that an ice terrace suits the country of Russia, a land of snow and ice. And we have gone out of our way to create something really special, something which will make Muscovites who are used to the best stop and say: Wow, this is amazing!"
Within six months Lombardi's vision became reality: The ice terrace opened during the run-up towards the upcoming Winter Olympics with the participation of TV presenter Irina Slutskaya, Olympic silver medal winner of 2002 and two-time world champion.
Since Hennessy V.S.O.P. acts as the ice terrace sponsor, guests will be able to order cocktails made with premium alcohol products from the French producer. The ice terrace is a unique environment and the high-quality kitchen suits all kinds of events, from business meetings to romantic dinners.
To find more information visit: www.rekaclub.ru
While no woman in her right jewelry loving mind would hope for anything less than the charm of Harry Winston, a feisty fashionista would pray for nothing better than to keep sync with trends.
Satiating both comes savior Vuitton. The maison’s fine jewelry collection combines the gem set best of tradition and fashion. So listen up men with feisty better halves. If a stunning ring is your present of choice this season, we present you ravishing of Louis Vuitton’s fine jewelry selection.