Avoid Being Workaholic

workaholic, burn, out, office, computer, bone, skeleton

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video and I learned some good stuff.

There is a trick to avoid being a workaholic that the majority of entrepreneurs don’t do. It’s to have a productive activity outside of work (because the company is based on a passion). If you’re not sure what a productive activity is, you can read this article I wrote. Click here ].

A lot of entrepreneurs are workaholics, which means that they’re work addicts. It’s not really a bad behavior, especially in the early years of the company because there are many new things to learn and few employees. But in the long term, it can block you to achieve the success you should have.

Workaholic

workaholic, burn, out, office, computer, phone, coffee

When I say « work addict », I don’t mean that a person is an addict like with cocaine, heroine, crystale methamphetamine, etc. We, human beings, are afraid of emptiness. This is very well explained in the Tim Ferriss book « 4-hour Workweek » . For example, you become more and more efficient using the 20/80 method (Pareto’s law) and you manage to earn 2 hours of free time per week. Now, what are you going to do with these 2 hours of free time ? Are you going to sit and count the insects ? No ! And as today more and more entrepreneurs have a laptop, they’ll continue to work on the laptop.

The problem of working during free time are :

  • Too much nose to the grindstone and do things that aren’t really useful. It prevents you from having peace of mind, serenity, being creative, decompressing, taking a step back, etc.
  • Work to work. For many people, consciously or unconsciously, if they don’t work, they’ll be bored. So they’ll do things that aren’t really useful to be busy. We can call it « intelligent procrastination ». With « intelligent procrastination » people around you see that you’re working but it’s not things that really make your company evolve. For example, spending 2 days choosing the font and colors of your website is « intelligent procrastination ».
  • In the long term doing things that are not really useful for the company’s evolution, will have negative effects. You’ll lose you serenity and have more stress. The symptoms of this state of mind are that you have the impression that everyone is stupid. At that moment, you have to take a holiday right away, otherwise you’ll have a burn-out.

I know it’s a little paradoxical because the first years of the company, you have to work as much as you can because there are lots of things to do and there is no budget to pay employees, but it’s important to have a productive activity to keep the balance in your life.

Usually when you start looking for an idea to start a company, you make a list of the things you like to do the most. This productive activity can be one of those things from the list that wasn’t used to create your company. This can be an activity such as flying a plane, kickboxing, meditation or something else that allows you to relax and forget about work.

Don’t hesitate to write this productive activity in the comment section and if you don’t know, make a list of things you like to do to get ideas.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Understand This Human Behavior To Boost Sales

human behavior

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

There is human bias that needs to get around to get your company up to the next level. What’s interesting with marketing is that it exposes human behavior. Marketing allows us to understand good and bad human behavior

Lazy

This one of the most common human misbehavior. Take the example of a registration page for online training. There are 200 prospects interested in this training who gave you their emails to know the start date.

You divide the prospects into 2 groups, group A and B. For group A (100 prospects), you ask them to write their first names and emails and click on the OK button in the form to register. For group B (100 prospects), their first names and emails are already pre-filled in the form, just check the information and click on the OK button. In group B, there will be about 10% more registration compared to group A.

Which means that in group A, there are about 10% of prospects who don’t have enough energy or motivaton to write their first names and emails in the form.

Honest

honesty

This is one of the most common good human behaviors. Take the example of a guarantee of 30 days without conditions satisfied or refunded. Technically, there are plenty of people who could benefit from this guarantee by saying : « I’ll use this product for 29 days and I’ll ask for a refund ». Of course, there are people who do that, but it’s always surprising to see that it’s a small minority. It’s something nice to see.

Psychology

Unfortunately, there are limits in honesty and it’s necessary to understand some human bias to have a good company. Otherwise your company is in jeopardy.

In a detective tv show, there is a perone who is looking for the best detective for his problem. The hero of this tv show is a detective.

The person sees the hero and says : « I did some research and you’re the best in your field ».

The tell him : « You did some research, but what exactly did you do ? ».

The person answers : « It’s simple, I went to see all your competitors, I asked them who was the best detective and they all said it was them. Then I asked them who was the best second detective after them and they said it was you, that’s why I realized you were the best ».

Did you see the human bias in this example ? When you ask a pro who is the best, he’ll answer you : « Me ! ». The pro does this because he wants to sell, he has his personal pride and maybe he really believes he’s the number 1 compared to others.

Which shows that it’s difficult to have the most objective answer possible with this question. By understanding this human bias, you can use a question that gets around that. This question is : « Okay, it’s obvious you’re the best but who’s second best after you ? ». In the majority of cases, the answer is objective.

Price

price

Let’s take another example. An entrepreneur conducts a survey with his prospects to determine the selling price of a product. The question is : « What is the price you would pay to buy this product ? ». If you ask your prospects how they want to help them, they’ll be honest but when you talk about the selling price, it become complicated. When you ask the question about the selling price, they will always tell you a lower price compared to the price they could pay.

There are 2 reasons :

  1. When a person ansers this question, she thinks : « If I tell him I’m willing to pay 100 dollars, he’ll sell it to me at $100. So, I’ll tell him $50 like that it will be cheaper ». It’s a behavior that all human beings do (me and you included).

  2. There are people who don’t know how much they would be willing to pay because they can’t see the product. When they see the product and see what it can improve in their life, they’ll decide whether to buy it or not.

To solve the problem of the 1st reason, ask the question this way : « As you’re one of the people who helped me to create this product, you’ll have a special price, but what do you think the price is that the rest of the world should pay ? ». With this question, the prospect knows that he is going to have a special price so he can give a more objective answer.

To solve the problem of the 2nd reason, there is only one way. It’s showing the product to prospects.

When you do a survey to prospects for the sale price, it’s very important that prospects understand that they’re going to have a special price. Ask the questions : « What price would you pay to buy this product ? » and «  As you’re one of the people who helped me to create this product, you’ll have a special price. But what do you think the price is that the rest of the world should pay ». You will be surprised by the different answers you will have. Test it !

Obviously, it’s not only with this question that you will determine your selling price, it will be just a clue. It’s very useful to understand human psychology otherwise you risk choosing a selling price really too low that should be and earn really less money.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Start A Smart Company

startup company data

What’s up !!! This is THE stephane ANDRE. I watch an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

To create a company, most people advise to leave school or job to be 100% focused on creating the company. I advise you to start your business part-time and continue your school or job. An excellent method for this is « Lean Startup » . The principle of Lean Startup is to put on the market as fast as possible your product/service at minimum viable.

2 different methods

method scientific

Classic

Let’s take a closer look at what most people do. A person has an idea to start a company, so this person does a market research to minimize the risks. Then this person will seek financing with bank loans after calculating the needs of the business. These business needs based on a 3-years business plan that is extremely theoretical and hypothetical. You should know that in 99% of cases, as soon as the company is open and prospects are in contact with the products/services, these business plans have no connection with the reality of the field.

The problem with this method is that this person works for 1 year to create a product/service and when it’s available, this person realize that everyone doesn’t care. When the product/service isn’t selling, the stress rises enormously and you have to find a way to pay back people who lend money to your company.

Lean startup

With the Lean Startup’s method, when a person has a product/service idea, the principle is to find the minimum basic function of that which would interest the audience and the prospects who would be willing to buy. Then you have to do a test as soon as possible on the market. There is something very important that Michael Masterson said : « Before your business make its first sale, it’s nothing more than a set of unproven ideas that you are spending money on ».

That is why it’s necessary to set up a field test in the most real conditions possible with the most minimal version of your product/service.

Here is an example with someone who wants to buy a parking lot to rent it :

  • With the classic method, this person bought a random parking lot hoping to have many prospects interested in renting it.

  • With the Lean Startup method, this person will find an interesting parking lot to buy. Then this person will post an ad in an ads posting site and on social media and will wait to see if there are peope interested in renting it. If people call this person to say : « I’m interested in having your parking lot, I’d like to rent it », in this case this person will buy the parking lot. If nobody is interested in the parking lot, this person will not buy it.

Test quicky

test field

There are several other methods like this to test. In my case, it’s my blog to build my brand and until today, I’m doing it part-time. Here is a 3-part article in the power of a blog ( here  ).

Create my blog allowed me to :

  1. To know if I could find and keep my rhythm to write articles

  2. To know if I could share interesting things to create an audience

  3. To know if I could possibly monitize this blog with this audience

Once you have the idea, you need to test it as soon as possible to see what is happening on the field to collect feedback from the first customers and to know if you have an interesting business model or not. This test is excellent for eliminating a lot of uncertainty.

The cool thing about the Lean Startup method is that you’ll really start investing a lot of time, money and energy when you have your first customers who will help you improve your product/service.

Let things be clear, Lean Startup isn’t a magic formula, it’s necessary to act and start the process again, until you have a product/service that interest people.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know.

-Steph

Schools To Be An Entrepreneur

school

I watched an Oliver Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

There are schools with specific courses about entrepreneurship. But several studies show that only 10% of students create their own companies. The vast majority go looking for a job.

It’s possible that these students create their own companies 5 or 10 years later but these are statistics that are hard to get.

It’s possible that these students start their company 5 or 10 years later, but these statistics are hard to have.

Look this podcast about « How should Business Schools prepare students for startup ? ».

What is interesting is to talk to entrepreneurs and to see that the vast majority of them have never studied at a school about entrepreneurship.

Being an entrepreneur is like any other exciting job, we always keep learning. Being an entrepreneur is a mission of life and it’s necessary to become better day after day.

If there is no effective school to learn entrepreneurship, we know that there is a curriculum to be a businessman.

MBA

mba

MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a huge curriculum. It’s often 1-2 years of your life after a professional experience. Which means that for 1-2 years, you don’t earn a salary. And it should be added that a MBA costs between $ 50 000.- and $ 100 000.-. You see, you really need to be motivated to do it.

It’s clear that having a MBA make it possible to have a better salary, it also helps to have knowledge in business but there are interesting critics on the results obtained on the field.

A MBA shows your employers that you’re able to sacrifice your life for your job. During a MBA, you work 70-80 hours a week to get it, which means that you’re able to do the same hours per week for your employer.

A MBA helps to create a network, but now with internet, there is another way to create a network. Interesting people don’t look for people who was in the best schools, they are looking for people who have projects and who shows that they’re capable to realize their projects.

Among the people who have negative reviews on MBA, we can find Seth Godin. Seth Godin is a well-know author and marketing expert in USA. He has a MBA from Standford and quotes : « Having A MBA is learning the best techniques for running a company in the 1990s for 2 years, while the world runs as fast as it can ».

We also have Peter Thiel. Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPay and Palantir and he’s the first external investor for Facebook. He has a MBA and he’s not satisfied with the results he obtained on the field.

What is certain is that a MBA is not really about creating entrepreneurs but about creating good employees able to run a company of the 1990s.

At the moment, there is no effective school in the world to learn to be a good entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is a state of mind and a decision of life. It’s all learned on the field, reading books and talking to more experienced entrepreneurs.

There is an interesting book « The Personal MBA »  that lets you learn the basics of a MBA without spending 1-2 years of your life without pay working 70-80 hours per week and saving between $ 50 000.- and $ 100 000.-. All this only by reading this book.

But I’m open-minded and it’s possible that someone took a course on entrepreneurship in a school. If that’s your case, it would be cool if you shared the experience you had in school and how it helped you to create and grow your company.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

The Only Thing To Be Successful In the Long Term

 long term success

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Sir Winston Churchill said : « Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ».

I’m sure you’ve heard this quote . But there’s something that nobody told you about that quote. This thing is the « GRIT ».

What’s this

definition

The meaning of the word « grit » is : « passion and perseverance for a long-term goal ».

We discovered after several years of case studies that intelligence wasn’t the most important element to have success in school, at work and in life.

The most important element to be successful is grit and personality. It’s essential to have the courage to go through all the challenges and failures to find a new solution to achieve the goal.

Psychology Professor at University Of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth shows in her studies that   :

« Smarter students actually had less grip that their peers who scored lower on an intelligence test. This finding suggests that, among the study participants – all students at an Ivy League School – people who are not as bring as their peers compensate by working harder and with more determination. And their effort pays off : The grittiest students – not the smartest ones – had the highest GPAs ».

And  :

« At the elite United States Military Academy, West Point, a cadet’s grit score was the best predictor of success in the rigorous summer training program known as « Beast Barracks ». Grit matter more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.

At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the grittiest contestants were the most likely to advance to the finals – at least in part because they studied longer, not because they were smarter or were better spellers ».

These findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.

There is also this article by Thomas Friedman in New York Times: Need a job ? Invent one .

In this article, there is a quote from Tony Wagner, Harvard Education Specialist : « Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know ».

As you can see, it’s not the amount of information that is important to be successful but what you do with this information. It’s the same principle to have a healthy body. I know people who know a tremendous amount of information about how to lose weight and how to build muscle. But there is a problem, they’re all overweight and from year to year, they take on more weight and they need to take more medicines.

What is necessary is to use the information that you have every day. It’s useless to know all the answers and look for the perfect workout. Start with what you have now and day after day, you’ll improve your knowledge on the field.

How do I do

how much

Here is my case. As you already know, I plan my workout program throughout the year to gradually increase the difficulty (periodization). I have failures (very often) and I adjust. Every week I search for small changes and tactics.

Tracking my workout helps me tremendously to adjust the difficulty without creating any injury. I use an application on my smartphone to track my workout, it’s Jefit.

I know that all my life is going to be like that. Learn more, have more failures and find new tactics to progress.

It’s true that says it like that, you think it’s boring but it’s very motivating to see progress made week after week. Small details are important to your body. Often the people around you don’t see you making progress. They don’t see that your body is changing but you know you have more strength and better health.

What looked annoying is actually motivating. I like to see small changes on my body because I know that the accumulation of small changes make a great transformation. It’s the same principle as a video game, the main character is gradually becoming stronger and stronger.

When I look my workout’s tracking over several months or several years, I see that I have done great transformation. The amount of weight lifted has increased and my endurance has increased.

When I check my workout’program of the day, I stop to day to myself : « It’s going to be painful today, oh no ! » but « Mmmh, it’s going to have a little new record today ! ».

That is why I began to « document » the evolution of my body. If you watch my videos every day, you’ll not see any difference but when you watch the videos I made 6 months or 1 year ago, you see that the differences are really visible. And it’s the same for you.

Build the grit

grit

For several years I had several (one ton) failures and I searched to find small changes and new tactics to change my body little by little, week after week. I did all that to create « my new standard » and « my new identity » to have the best possible future in my life. All these small improvements on my body have developing more grit and perseverance.

Here is how to build your grit yourself :

  1. Determine your new « identity ».

    The more specific your new identity, the easier it will be to prove it to yourself. For example : « I’m the type of person who never miss a workout » and « I’m the type of person who always eats a healthy meal at lunch » and/or « I’m the type of person who works on his own business as soon as I have free time ».

    To always have these identities in mind put post-it in several places in your house like on the calendar, the phone and the mirror of your bathroom. You can also have it in the wallpaper (lock screen) on your smartphone.

  2. Have small victories every day to prove it to yourself and motivate you to do that

    Follow your evolution and highlight your small victories to see that you are in the right direction. Make a daily challenge that takes you between 5 and 15 minutes. Once this challenge is successful, it’s a small victory in addition.

  3. Increases the difficulty of your challenges every 30 days

    For a month, for 30 days, you’ll have small victories. Once you have 30 small victories, make a party to celebrate these victories and increase the difficulty of your challenges for the next 30 days.

    Attention, our will’s strength is limited so use all this will to build this new healthy habit.

  4. When you have created you « new standard », it’s time to improve it.

    Improve your « new standard » by making small adjustments. Make slow and steady progress to win. If you make drastic adjustments, you will have more failures than small victories and this will make you want to give up.

  5. When you fail in something , be sure to fail differently next time

    Failure doesn’t mean that you have a bad or a weak personality. It’s just mean that you didn’t have all the knowledge and experience to succeed. Learn and practice more on the field to continue towards the best.

It’s not important where you’re from, where you’re going that’s important.

I warn you already that this a path with more that 1 billion challenges but it’s the price to pay for a better lifestyle. To achieve the lifestyle of your dreams , you will create 1 billion versions of yourself, all better than the previous ones (it’s like an update).

The most important thing is that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish anything in you life (this also includes you parents).

If you know you can do it, do it !

What is the little victory you have recently made, and what the next ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Company Creation And Taxes

taxation

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

It’s true that a frequent question, how to optimize taxation when we start a company.

Solid foundation

mountain

It’s extremely simple. Here are the 3 most important steps to do when we create a company :

  • First step => sell

  • Second step => sell

  • Third step => sell

The only thing that is important is to find customers who are willing to pay for your products/services. Everything else is superfluous.

Spend all your days looking for ways to pay as little tax as possible or have a Zen office to stimulate your creativity or create your website with the best design in the world, all this is superfluous. This is intelligent procrastination.

To grow your company, you need to find customers in the most efficient way possible.

Be profitable

profitable profit growth

The truth is that you’re going to ask yourself how you can optimize your taxes when you ask yourself: « Wow, I’m paying too much taxes now, I need to improve that ! ». When you ask yourself this, you’ll have ways to pay a specialist’s service. And it will also mean that your company is profitable, which is excellent.

It’s normal for an entrepreneur to minimize costs as much as possible to make the company profitable. But taxes shouldn’t be an obsession because it can make you forget the company’s mission. Your company isn’t profitable because you pay the minimum taxes. Your company is profitable because of the added value of your products/services.

So when you start your company, the 3 most important things are to sell, sell, and sell to have a profitable company.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph