Fight of Flight: The Science Of Business Success and Failure Arielle | April 20th, 2016

bull-46368_640

According to Walter Cannon, a renowned physiologist, humans have two pre-programmed responses to stress: fight or flight. Cannon’s extensive research of people in stressful situations revealed two distinct patterns in how people chose to deal with stress. Some of the people he studied “fled” from stress, doing their best to avoid it in hopes of it going away, while others chose to “fight” the problem- seeking out and trying solutions in order to face and overcome stress.

Much like the people that Cannon studied, entrepreneurs and small business owners face daily stress, probably even more so than the average working person. Melinda Emerson, a leading small business expert, emphasizes that people must develop ways to manage stress for their business to succeed.

In a small company or startup, a lot is at stake, and there is much to lose. Reputation, money, trust, confidence – these are all things that entrepreneur value, but all are constantly at risk when running a startup or small business. So when stressful situations come up, such as a website completely crashing,  a major customer or key employee leaving, or not having enough capital, entrepreneurs and small business owners are faced with the same dilemma: fight or flight.

Is fight or flight a real choice or  simply a response from our lizard brain? If it’s a real choice, which should an entrepreneur choose?

While some may argue that either fight or flight could be an appropriate response, depending on the situation, the most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs’ actions reveal a very different trend. For the most part, successful people know that the flight response is almost never the best way to deal with a stress or a challenge in a company. Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, agreed that fight is the best choice an entrepreneur can make when battling stress:

I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

Judging by Apple’s success, particularly after he returned to Apple after a long absence, Jobs’s theory was accurate. As much as we hope they would, challenges and problems rarely go away on their own. Sure, as entrepreneurs we could pretend that tomorrow the website will be magically working again without any intervention, or that money will suddenly fall from the sky, but that never happens. Even Silicon Valley unicorns and their leaders – the darlings of the startup world – go through many difficult moments.

Cannon’s research suggests that one of these reactions – fight or flight – are inherently programmed into our character. So if you are I are by default flight type people, how can we ever expect to be as successful as Jobs?

Fortunately, scientific research has allowed us to see deeper into the biological and chemical activity of fight or flight responses and stress reactions. These studies have revealed that we can actually train ourselves out of the learned helplessness that stems from a flight response. The answer boils down to dealing with stress and challenges in an explanatory style.

There are two basic types of explanatory style, just as there are two distinct reactions to stress. The types can be categorized as optimistic or pessimistic points of views. Usually, the flight response correlates to a pessimistic point of view because that person has learned that they are unable to resolve the issue at hand. A pessimistic attitude causes someone to not believe in themselves, therefore believing that they cannot solve the problem because it is the worst problem in the world.

Read the rest of this post »

Why Follow Your Passion is Bad Advice For Entrepreneurs Arielle | April 13th, 2016

passion

Aspiring entrepreneurs are often told to start a business by following their passion. Richard Branson of Virgin agrees that passion is the fundamental reason behind his company’s success:

When you believe in something the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals. This is essential to success.

Richard Branson has been immensely successful and it’s natural for you to respect what he says about entrepreneurship. In theory, following your passion appears to be a great foundation for a successful business. The reality for most aspiring entrepreneurs is quite different.

Most people do not feel true passion. Sure, many feel the need to be passionate and to speak passionately about their ideas and startups. But there’s a very important difference between feeling the need to be passionate and actually being passionate about an idea. Richard Branson WAS passionate and has continued to inject his passion into every business he started. But, even his passion hasn’t fail-proofed his startups. There have been plenty of failures along the way.

Passion is exciting, contagious and interesting. We celebrate people who appear passionate – and we should. But passion can also be fleeting. Here are three reasons why passion might not be enough, in the long run, to help you launch and sustain a successful business:

1. Passion does not compensate for no expertise.

I could be very passionate about building passenger rockets. It could be my dream to launch a company that can send people to space – much like airlines do across the world. But not matter how much I am interested in passenger rockets, that doesn’t mean that I know the technical, financial, or logistical aspects. There are billions of people in the world and many are passionate about space. Who other than Elon Musk is converting their passion into an a for-profit company looking to solve the space travel problem?

Lack of expertise leads many aspiring entrepreneurs to believe that their product is great. Reality can be harsh. Too many aspiring entrepreneurs fall in love with their idea and ignore the problem. Ideas are shiny, new and interesting. But often, they don’t solve an actual problem.

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: arsOrum Audree | April 12th, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for arsOrum. Check out more great work on arsOrum’s profile page.

Nicely done, arsOrum, nicely done!

FFTS-asOrum

The Science of Bad Decisions and How You Can Avoid Making Them Arielle | April 6th, 2016

choices

If you’ve recently made a bad decision (or a baker’s dozen of them), you are not alone. Not a single person is immune from making bad decisions.

Humans make mistakes. Let’s face it, even though we often deny it, we have inherently imperfect judgement. Anxiety, stress and fear can easily distort our choices. In fact, in the competitive and strenuous world of small businesses and startups, it’s much too easy to make bad decisions. Often, we don’t even know whether the decision we are making is good or bad. This is because the aggregate total of the decisions we make throughout the day impacts our ability to clearly see the upsides and downsides of some of the decisions we must make. Plainly put: the more decisions we must make, the more likely we’ll make bad decisions.

Realistically, not all bad decisions end up being detrimental and crazy, but it is in our best interest to make smarter decisions. After all, we don’t always learn from our mistakes.

With such high stakes, why aren’t people more careful and make smarter decisions?

A recent study, Decision Fatigue Exhausts Self-Regulatory Resources — But So Does Accommodating to Unchosen Alternatives,  highlights the importance of being selective when making decisions.

In five studies, participants who made a series of choices regarding consumer products, college courses, or course materials subsequently showed poorer self-regulation (measured in terms of task persistence, task performance, and pain tolerance), as compared to people who viewed or rated similar options without making choices.

Essentially, the researchers confirmed that the more choices, or decisions people had to make in a short amount of time, the worse their future decision-making and general productivity became.

 

Blogger James Clear echoes these sentiments in a blog post for his blog where he explores several case studies on this subject:

In fact, you may be surprised just how much small daily decisions impact the willpower you have for important choices. And most importantly, it turns out there are simple choices you can make that will help you master your willpower and make better decisions on a more consistent basis.

Clear uses the analogy of willpower in decision making to be similar to a muscle – too much use and it will become very tired and have difficulty recovering, but too little use and it will be rusty and out of shape. He suggests that when the decision-making muscle gets tired, we are more likely to make bad decisions, just as a fatigued muscle is more prone to injury than a healthily worked one.

Importantly, the art of avoiding a bad decision lies in the art of avoiding decision fatigue.

But how can you avoid decision fatigue?

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to avoid decision fatigue, just as there are ways to prepare your muscles and train them to not become fatigued as quickly.

Read the rest of this post »

Successful Entrepreneurs Know That Failure Is Rarely Permanent Ross | April 5th, 2016

If you do something that carries more risk, you are more likely to fail. That’s one reason so many people fear failure. But if you risk nothing, you risk everything. The most successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks and are always willing to fail.

The question isn’t whether you will fail – everyone fails at something. The question is what you do after you fail.

I’m not suggesting – as some do – that failure is good. After all, not every failure is a learning experience. Success is often a better teacher. As I wrote previously:

Knowing what not to do helps you focus and avoid setbacks, but doesn’t help you adapt to changes. You know what didn’t work — does that help you next time when you need to figure out what will work? If you ask successful entrepreneurs whether they would rather hire someone who has failed or someone who has succeeded, I suspect most would prefer to hire the person who has succeeded. This is not surprising — scientific research shows that we learn more from success than from failure.

Here’s a wonderful short video showing why failure is rarely permanent. Michal Marosi was racing in a mountain bike race. He was in the lead and made a risky move on an aerial descent that got him into trouble. He could have easily stopped racing. Instead, despite the big setback, Michal got back on his bike and executed an absolutely incredible passing move that was even more risky than the one that caused him to fall.

It’s a great reminder that failure is rarely permanent. Your attitude can turn even catastrophic failure into success.

Fresh from the SPRING:
 Cleio Audree | April 5th, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for Cleio. Check out more great work on Cleio’s profile page.

Nicely done, Cleio, nicely done!

FFTS-Cleio

How The Cloud Is Reshaping Small Business Productivity And Profits Arielle | March 30th, 2016

I am not listening

The business world changes frequently and quickly, making it difficult for small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep up with new trends. But if small business owners and entrepreneurs fail to keep up with these trends, they will be left behind in the dust as the technology, organization, and marketing techniques in their industries change.

A 2014 study from Emergent Research revealed that there are four main forces currently driving the development of the next generation of small businesses: socioeconomics, customer needs, platforms and ecosystem, and technology and infrastructure. These driving forces have caused both new and old companies to adopt and emerge with cloud based technology, one of the newest and most prevalent trends in the small business world over the past few years. Emergent Research partner Steve King commented on this change for Talkin’ Cloud:

Today, the U.S. and global economy is going through a series of shifts and changes that are reshaping the economic landscape. In this new landscape, many people are using the power of the cloud to re-imagine the idea of small business and create new, innovative models that work for their needs.

Cloud based technology, or cloud computing, allows companies to deliver information, services, and more via the internet, rather than locally through information stored on your own computer or on a local server.

Given the speed with which cloud technology is spreading and high adoption rates by businesses, it’s clear that cloud based technology is here to stay. At the conclusion of the Emergent Research study, researchers predicted that 78% of small business will fully adapt to the cloud by 2020. The US Small & Medium Business cloud computing and services market will grow from $43 billion to $55 billion over the course of one year- from 2015-2016.

How does cloud computing affect you and your business?

If you aren’t yet using cloud based services or offering such services, it is inevitable that your future will involve the cloud. Here are three reasons of why your small business should consider cloud technology for your business:

1. Lower expenses.

Most people assume that cloud computing services can be cheaper to use as you scale your business. This is true. For example, many of you already use Google Apps for email, documents, presentations and more. Some of you use Office 365. Both of those are cloud-based services, as are Dropbox, Slack, MailChimp, and many other useful products.

Cloud-based products are also useful because you don’t need to make capital investments in the products. They cost little when you use them, and have small marginal costs when you don’t use them. Joe Weinman, author of Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing, explains: “In effect, it doesn’t matter that much what you pay when you use cloud services, the key cost reduction driver is what you pay when you don’t use them: zero.

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: loginstudio Audree | March 29th, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for loginstudio. Check out more great work on loginstudio’s profile page.

Nicely done, loginstudio, nicely done!

FFTS-loginstudio

 

 

 

 

4 Fears Leaders Must Overcome To Help Their Businesses Succeed Arielle | March 23rd, 2016

fear

Fear is one of the most common, innate emotions we feel as human beings. From a psychological point of view, fear is a reaction from your Lizard Brain – the part of your brain that is very primitive. Fear is a survival tactic – it warns and protects us against dangers. It can also paralyze us from action. In business, fear can be our worst enemy.

You might think, looking at other startups and small businesses, that you are the only one who is fearful of failure, being lost, etc.

You are not alone.

Fear is a common denominator that ties the business community together. The perceived fearlessness  you see around you is typically entrepreneurs re-framing their thoughts to sound brave. The truth if often very different.

Jen Groover, author of What If? and Why Not?: How to Transform Your Fears Into Action and Start the Business of Your Dreams, a book about transforming your fears, says that rejecting fear creates destructive self-doubting habits:

Until you can jump over your inner roadblocks, the outer ones will stay firmly in place. Overcoming these inner obstacles is about learning to rethink the fearful thoughts that can lead you to quit before you start.

Groover makes the connection between re-framing and using fear to your advantage. Fear can prevent bad decisions and negative situations, but fear can also be fostered in a way that propels you forward. For example, fearing failure can push entrepreneurs to work harder in their business, and make better decisions, all while avoiding mistakes. The key is to avoid shutting down.  Entrepreneur and author Jonathan Fields, in his book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, explains:

One of the single greatest determinants of high-level success as an innovator or creator in any realm is the ability to manage and at times even seek out sustained high levels of uncertainty, bundled lovingly with risk of loss and exposure to criticism. These three psychic horsemen of creation must often not only be sought, but embraced repeatedly and with increasing level of intensity over extended periods of time.

What do entrepreneurs and small business owners fear, and how can you take advantage of these fears to improve the success of your business? Here are four of the biggest and most debilitating fears that all entrepreneurs and small business owners experience.

1. Fear of feeling lost.

Every entrepreneur or small business owner will feel lost at some point. It’s crazy to expect to know what you are doing 100% of the time, or to always assume that the plan will work without problems. Things change fast in business, and you must constantly adjust and evolve. It’s okay to feel lost, but it’s not okay to stay that way. Always have a Plan B and adjust to changing situations through trial and error until you get it right.

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: pixelideas Audree | March 22nd, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for pixelideas. Check out more great work on pixelideas’ profile page.

Nicely done, pixelideas, nicely done!

FFTS-pixelideas

Hey, it's crowdSPRING!

Tens of thousands of the world's best and most successful entrepreneurs, businesses, agencies and nonprofits rely on crowdSPRING for affordable and risk-free custom logo design, web design, a new company name or other writing and design services. More than 182,000 designers and writers work on crowdSPRING. We create designs and names people love. 100% guaranteed.

Get Blog Updates

Free E-Books

interviews with graphic and web designers

12 Question Interviews with cS designers.
Get it »

contracts for graphic designers

Contracts for designers who hate contracts.
Get it »

contracts for software and website developers

Contracts for software developers who hate contracts. Get it »