7 things holding you back

We are all guilty of not maximizing our potential in some way. Take a look at the list below and think about how you can make yourself more productive in your startup/job and in your everyday life. Remember to keep winning and staying competitive in whatever you do. Do not let anything hold you back.

7 Things Holding You Back (and how to reach your full potential)

  1. Using simple words in emails

    When emailing people, it is important to be direct and to the point. Using filler words does not add value to the message, rather, it is viewed as clutter. Using “but” invalidates everything you said in the statement before and the word “just” is seen as validating your statement to yourself. Take a look at the next email you write and be conscious of where you use these words. This is a great start to writing more succinctly.

  2. Too responsive to email

    Most emails are not time critical. If you cannot answer an email in less than 2 minutes, and you are busy, come back to it. A key thing I have learned is if it truly is important you will receive a follow up.

  3. Doing what is required

    There are base things you have to do in order to get the job done. Do those. However, there is so much more you can expand on. The best ideas come out of digging a little deeper into something. You will impress yourself with how much you can accomplish and learn.


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  4. Not valuing your time or others

    Make it a point to be on time and start things at exact times (a 2:30 meeting means 2:30 NOT 2:32 or 2:35), no more waiting on others that are late without anything said. If you make it a point to be on time, others will follow. This will create a sense of leadership.

  5. Overanalyzing situations

    This is inefficient and limits the amount of work that can get done. If you have all the information in front of you and you understand it, do not walk away without making a decision. The material will never be fresher on your mind than it is in that moment.

  6. Staying silent in a meeting

    I know that when you are in a room with older and “wiser” people you may feel intimidated, forget about that. You need to make an impact and staying silent will not help your cause. Have ideas and share them, it is your job to get noticed by the more experienced and ultimately your fault if you are not.


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  7. Ignoring others

    I see this every day in the hall or in meetings. Some people feel like they are better than others. And you know what, that is ok. Do not let that be you. You can learn so much from small interactions with people. I mentioned this before in a previous post, a simple Good Morning can really go a long way. New relationships cannot form unless you interact with others.

 

-Jeff B.

5 Ways to Work Smarter This Semester

With school getting back into gear, we realize just how valuable every minute of the day can be, especially when you have to sit in on classes that can be a total time-suck.

Good time management is the difference between smooth sailing and total chaos. Below are five ways to help you save time and accomplish more in the day. I want you to try at least one of these today!

1. The Morning Workout

This is a no brainer in my mind, but sometimes very hard to do. Wake up early and go for a run or a nice workout. By the time you get to your desk you are ready to go. I am well aware that sleep is much needed in the world of being an entrepreneur (and student!), but even if it comes to waking up 30 minutes earlier you will see a direct impact on the quality and quantity of the work you’ll produce from it.

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2. Time Boxing

I learned this one from something I read in school. It is a simple but powerful way to get a lot done in a compressed amount of time. Essentially once you start your day, plan out what you need to accomplish and then prioritize it. Associate a time period in which you want to accomplish each task (try to limit yourself to a one hour maximum or you’ll lose focus) and jump to the next. This allows you to accomplish more in your day, faster. If you do not finish a task then you can go back to it after you finish your list.

3. Ergo Breaks

This has saved me from losing my mind at my desk many times. Take a break after working for a few hours. You need to relax and focus on something that requires very little brain power from time to time. Maybe it’s taking a walk around the office (or your dog) or reading up on the news of the day. Those few minutes you spend on something other than work will pay off later in your day.

4. The 80/20 Rule

We have all heard of this, but how many of us actually put it into action? Things will never be perfect, but if you are able to get 80% there in half the time it’ll take you to get to that full 100% perfection, then you need to move on. It is ok if something is “good enough”. Many times if you are 100% on something it is too late and the opportunity is no longer there. Always do good work and know when its time to shift your focus.

5. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Task List

This is something you will have to continuously update but can help keep track of your accomplishments. Simply knowing what you have done and what you have left to do will force you to be efficient with your time. It can be as simple as a sticky note on your desk to be a constant reminder.

There’s tons of tricks you can use to make time management this semester a breeze. What are your favorite time saving hacks? Share yours and find tricks from other SPUR students in our community HERE

TRUSTFALL: 3 ways to build your company around trust

Trust is arguably the most valuable business commodity. It takes time to earn and only seconds to loose. Transparency in the way you work is one of the most important aspects of business and ultimately leads to failure if not done properly. Why? When trust is earned in your business, relationships flourish and opportunities come faster.

You don’t have to be a shrink to integrate trust into your startup. Here are three easy ways to make sure trust is the backbone of your team.

 

  1. Be loyal to each other. Startups have enough obstacles to get through and your team should not be one of them. Failure will happen, learn from it together and move on.
  2. Make your office a judge-free zone. Ask why something is the way it is before making assumptions.  It keeps innovation going and allows for growth.
  3. If you see a problem, handle it. Build your team around trust by having each other’s backs at all times. Get things done even if it is “not your job.” 

 

I have witnessed all of these first hand at one point in the various jobs I have had. Let it be someone looking to get ahead at the expense of someone else, seeing a situation and assuming the worst, or being challenged with a problem and avoiding it all together. It takes the action of one person to make a difference and lead by example, but it takes a team to excel and create trust with each other to find opportunities that will grow the business.

 

When trust is built within the team, relationships can expand and opportunities with others begin to open up. Connections with fellow entrepreneurs and customers culminate and enable your team to find answers to the questions you did not know you had.

 

Entrepreneurship is like a game and you can think of your startup like a puzzle. If trust is not there, pieces will be missing, the picture is not clear, and you find there are holes in your business. Without trust, your startup will never have a chance. Trust is the binding glue needed to help a business grow, let it be big or small.

 

Project of the Week: PaperLight

paperlight-software

I see entrepreneurship as a game. If you perform well and others support you, then you will succeed. As we have been moving into this new digital age where it seems like everyone is coming up with their own businesses, small businesses can get lost in the crowd of other larger ones. This is what SPURstartup is looking to change. Continue reading “Project of the Week: PaperLight”