What I Learned As An Entrepreneur This Year

entrepreneurs always be learning

Entrepreneurs should ABL – Always be Learning and this year I learned a lot about myself and my position as an entrepreneur. There is something wonderful about being a business owner and contributing to the economy as a provider of jobs, opportunities and ideas. If you are an entrepreneur, take some time between now and the end of the year to acknowledge what you have learned and to celebrate your successes.

Not all lessons happen in the classroom, so if you are an entrepreneur, always be looking for something to learn and ways to improve.

In my work as a business consultant and writer,  meet entrepreneurs in the real world and the virtual world on a regular basis. I have learned a lot from them and on my own over the course of the past year. I am sharing some of those real and practical lessons in the hope that other entrepreneurs can benefit from the experience.

1. Use video conferences to help you work better.

2. Don’t worry about trends in organization, find what works for you and stick with it.

3. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so take the time to plan.

4. Technology rocks so use it and learn to use well.

Use video conferences to help you work better.

It is not uncommon for bloggers, writers and other small business entrepreneurs to work alone. They get up in the morning, shower, dress and then go to sit at their home offices, dining room table or favorite coffee house.  Then they spend the day in solitude working. It is quite a lonely existence. What I have learned is that by using video conferencing programs online, the loneliness can be cut down.

One thing I have started doing on a regular basis is turn on a video conference program, (there are many inexpensive or free versions for people on a budget) mute the microphone, leave the camera alone and then work. People on the conference call do not talk to each other unless there is a question. Even then, most participants ask their question via text message.  The ability to see fellow entrepreneurs working provides a subtle peer pressure that encourages you to work diligently and not slack off. It is a great tool in your arsenal. Try it today with something like Google Hangouts and a few friendly entrepreneurs and let me know how it works out for you.

This technique is a great one for me. I like being able to see my friends on the computer or telephone screen while we work. We use Google Hangouts and it is great because we all stay on task, work productively and don’t feel alone. We feel as if we were working in a traditional office with co-workers.

Don’t worry about trends in organization, find what works for you and stick with it.

There is always a new book, a new expert or a new way to do things that comes up on the horizon. It is indeed a wonderful thing. Some entrepreneurs, chase those things, affectionately called shiny red balls, all over creation.  Some entrepreneurs feel an almost  irresistible urge to chase every new organizational tool that comes along. They are easy to spot. Their offices are littered with Day Timers, Filofaxes, journals, calendars, bullet journals and best self journals. The use one tool and before they learn how to do it efficiently and effectively, they move on to the next hot organizational tool that catches their fancy.

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Verizon FIOS and Chill – Date Night For Grown Ups

Thank you to my partner Verizon FIOS for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone.

 

Verizon FIOS and Chill - Date Night For Grown Ups

 

date night happens at home and Verizon FIOS can make date night rock!

 

It all starts with Verizon FIOS and ends with romance!

 

Let me give you a little background in case you are not familiar with Verizon FIOS. Verizon FIOS is different from other ways of transferring information. Verizon FiOS uses lasers to send information through optical fibers directly to your home. Fiber literally travels at the speed of light. It’s a national fiber infrastructure that feeds directly into customers’ homes. Fiber optics aren’t influenced by weather conditions. Fiber optical cables carry light instead of electricity, they are not disturbed by changes in the temperature, rain, cold, or virtually any other environmental condition. If you have ever lost the signal to your satellite dish during a storm, you know how frustrating this can be.
Verizon FIOS and Chill - Date Night For Grown Ups
Verizon FIOS is particularly good for busy homes like mine because it does not subject users to the “internet rush hour.” At many homes, traffic jams start around 7:00 pm when kids are doing homework, and parents are connecting through social media and streaming movies. You get more rush out of ‘rush hour’ because of a FiOS dedicated connection, no sharing bandwidth with your neighbors. No more buffering or error messages waiting for On Demand programming. It’s also future-proof. FIOS cn keep up with ever-changing TV/HD and Internet technology. You won’t have to switch again.It is built to allow you to have the same internet speed for both uploading and downloading – something we need more and more of these days as we share videos and photos, store in the cloud. It’s also something cable cannot provide.

 

Be realistic and work with what you have at home and each date night can be amazing.

I have been happily married for 26 and a half years. Over the past quarter century, I have gone on some amazing dates. Some I planned and some my husband planned. Some have been in big wonderful public places. Some have/been in quiet intimate settings. One thing we learned over the years is that what makes date night special is not where you go, but who goes with you.

Verizon FIOS and Chill - Date Night For Grown Ups

 

Now that there are three children under the age of 14 still at home, and we are responsible for tuition for a Spelman College junior, we have to be smarter about our dollars. Baby sitters for three kids are expensive. At the same time, date nights are an important part of keeping a long and happy marriage. Friday night is date night at our house. We send the kids to their rooms for the night and have date night. Verizon FIOS is an important part of making date night fun.

drinks

 

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It starts with Verizon’s crystal clear telephone service. First, you call your college daughter and remind her it is date night and that absent an emergency, she had better not call you. You also use that amazing phone service with crystal clear reception to order your dinner be delivered. After all, you don’t want to waste good date time cooking before and washing dishes after.

Then get out your phone, tablet, laptop or computer and let that superfast internet speed amaze you.

 

Use the internet to download your favorite music for an after dinner dance or for romantic music to use at the end of the date. Use the super fast speed to surf the web together. You know all the things that have been going on the world and your sweetheart missed all week long because you were busy working and parenting. It is nice to be able to catch up on all that while dining on your dinner goodies. If you don’t care about what was going in the world, no matter, use th internet to find interesting topics to share with one another. Let’s not forget all the streaming services available on the internet so that you can watch whatever tickles your fancy or gets your heart racing. The FIOS app on your phone or tablet is a great way to watch amazing movies or television shows that you missed during the week.

The final piece of the Verizon FIOS trio is the television.

You have never seen so many channels! The high-definition television stations are amazing and bring what you see to life. There really is something cool about laying back next to or on your spouse and watching some really good television. We give our DVR and the On Demand feature a workout each date night. There are so many movies to choose from. You will always find something great to watch. Keep in mind, you don’t have to watch a romantic movie in order to have a romantic end to date night. If your spouse is a sci-fi fan like mine, something from the sci-fi channel will set a really nice mood. If your spouse is a mystery/adventure lover like me the On Demand lineup is guaranteed to bring the delight!

 

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bedtii

 

So you see, you don’t have to leave the house to have a great date night. All you need to do is pull out the Verizon FIOS and chill. That is how grown ups have fun.