If you don't do the work to keep moving up, you're doomed to go downhill.

-Geoffrey James

If there's anything that's true in business and in life, it's change. And change means that each element of your business and your life is either improving or deteriorating. Because nothing ever stays the same.

Take your health, for instance. Depending upon the choices you made during the day, your body is either stronger than it was yesterday or it's weaker. You've either extended your life or accelerated your demise. There's no in-between.

Similarly, depending upon the actions you took during the day, you have either grown your company's revenue, profit, and potential or you've shrunk them. There's no in-between.

A couple of days in a downward direction won't kill you or your business. However, it's extremely easy to build momentum when you're headed downhill. Building upward momentum is more difficult. It requires constant effort.

Here's how you build upward momentum:

  1. Make a list of at least six areas of your life and work that are important to you.
  2. Resolve to take at least one action, every day, to improve that area of your life.
  3. Schedule those actions into your daily routine.
  4. Execute on your plan.

For example, here's my list from a few years back:

(The orange points in the list are Hannah's current list for a Savage Example )

  • Sales. Call or email at least one prospective client.
  • Sales. CALL at least one prospective client. Consultants that get on the phone always win over the ones that email all day
  • Health. Do at least 15 minutes of aerobic exercise.
  • Health. Do at least an hour of exercise I LOVE doing
  • Family. Make at least one person in my family feel incredibly loved.
  • Family. Message, email, call, snapchat, message, visit, as many family members as possible
  • Networking. Call or email at least one business contact.
  • Networking. CALL at least one business contact. See above point on calling. 
  • Financing. Take at least one action that give me more control over my finances.
  • Financing. Check in with finance manager on activities daily. I am not a finance genius. I should not be in charge or in control of this. 
  • Creativity. Do at least one creative activity that's not business writing.
  • Creativity. Spend an hour every day doing creative things. Finger painting, turning mango's into men, making gifts for friends and family. 

What I've discovered is that acting upon those resolutions, day after day, week after week, create upward momentum in the areas of my life that previously had a tendency to get shoved aside and therefore go downhill.

What I also discovered is that, because these small actions ensured that I would give attention to these areas of my life, I usually found myself doing more than the minimum that I resolved to do.

Just as important, knowing that I was address these otherwise-neglected areas freed me from the burden of worrying about them when I was hard at work.  That allowed me to get more done in less time.

Try this method for a week.  Once you feel the upward momentum, you won't want to stop.

Note from Hannah: Once you have the upward momentum, your life will amaze you every day, and it will be almost impossible to stop unless you consciously make the decision to stop. 

Originally published on Inc


Author:  Shannon Barnes – Melbourne Freelance Copywriter10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Thrive Outside of School  - Image 1

The link between successful people and getting bad grades at school is often exaggerated.

Albert Einstein actually got very good grades through most of his schooling years (he did struggle learning French though). Warren Buffet got a Master of Science in economics at Columbia University and many schools around the world are starting to run entrepreneur courses for those wanting to develop their business skills.

However, there are also many people who have succeeded in business by going out into the real world instead. They think outside the box, take risks, and build their knowledge through practical experience. And while most institutions embrace these ideas, they’re bogged down by conflicting rules and guidelines that limit student’s freedom.

Here are some of reasons why entrepreneurs don’t thrive in the conventional education system.

1. They Want to Be Different

As a student, you’re expected to do the same things as everyone else. Attend the same classes, participate in the same activities and take the same exams. But in the world of business, being different is sometimes the only way to capitalise to succeed.

Entrepreneurs have a knack for coming up with solutions to problems that people aren’t aware of. As opposed to getting a nice grade on their report card – this satisfaction can be much more rewarding for some people.

2. They Have Their Own Definition of Success

In school, you attend classes, do assignments and take exams, all in an attempt to earn good grades. What you do with the knowledge you’ve gained afterwards is entirely up to you.

However, if you’re the kind of person who aspires to use their skills and knowledge for other purposes, the desire to get good grades may pale in comparison to the allure of starting a successful enterprise.

3. They Yearn for Independence

If you’re studying a creative practice in school, you’re always under the guidance of an instructor leading you on the ‘right’ path. Not only that, but you’re expected to do assignments, in-class tasks and exams on topics that carry no value outside of school. This process can be de-motivating… even if you’re studying a subject that genuinely interests you.

As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to pick and choose the information that best suits your goals. Plus, you get to see the results on a much wider scale than a conventional school setting.

4. They Love Learning, But Hate the School

For most entrepreneurs, learning is a lifelong journey, not something that only happens in the classroom. In today’s world, you can learn from taking online courses, reading e-books, listening to audiobooks and podcasts. You can even learn a whole new trade from watching YouTube videos.

With so many options that fall outside the conventional school system, it’s no wonder many creative entrepreneurs forge their own path to gain knowledge.

5. They Prefer Practical Experience Over Theory

Unless you’re undertaking a job placement or studying at a trade-school, you’re probably learning from textbooks.

Studying real-life and hypothetical scenarios is crucial to developing your knowledge. However, some entrepreneurs simply cannot wait that long to utilise their skills in the real world.

6. They Learn From Failing

When you get a bad grade in school, you either care enough to put more effort in next time, or you simply ‘go through the motions’ until you graduate. In the world of business, the consequences of failing is much higher… and being mediocre won’t get you very far.

It’s true that many successful entrepreneurs failed in starting their first business. It’s these major setbacks that pushed them harder to succeed – and without any loss of enthusiasm too.

7. They Don’t Like Copying Other People

Innovation drives industries to explore new ideas, reach new audiences and create competition in the marketplace.

In school, most of your time is spent learning from others. While it’s important to learn the rules before you break them, some people can reach this stage faster than others. And depending on the kind of institution you attend, you may never get the chance to explore your own ideas until you’ve entered the real world.

8. They Want to Build Their Portfolio

Most people outside of school will never ask you about your grades. And many entrepreneurs would rather be developing their folio than satisfying a report card.

These people understand the importance of building new relationships, starting new endeavours and putting in the hours to complete projects they’re proud to showcase to others.

If you have nothing to show for your portfolio other than a bachelor’s degree or high GPA, you risk being overshadowed by someone with the same qualifications, but more experience in the real world.

9. They Want Better Mentors

In academia, your exposure to good mentors is mostly limited to the classroom. If you’re in a class with a lousy or uninspiring teacher – well, then you’re out of luck.

Those who want to learn from the best will go out there to find inspiration. If that means stepping out of the school system to find it, they’re probably going to go ahead do it.

10. They Know How to Live Outside the System

In Professor Karen Arnold’s book, Lives of Promise: What Becomes of High School Valedictorians, 15 past students are interviewed and studied over a 14-year period.

While these students were the best and brightest of the class, Arnold reveals that, “They’re extremely well rounded and successful, personally and professionally… but they’ve never been devoted to a single area in which they put all their passion.”

Arnold also states that many who never graduated college went on to pursue ambitious careers, like being a poet or social justice activist.

This case study is not a definitive argument against doing well in school. However, it does highlight the limitations of a learning culture that may not be doing enough to prepare students for life outside the schoolyard.
Originally published on Freelancer