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It’s the ultimate entrepreneur nightmare: you’re doing well, business is good, and your customers want what you’re offering. Then, out of the blue, something terrible happens that affects you or your close family, and you have no choice but to give this your full attention rather than your business.

This is without doubt one of the most difficult situations an entrepreneur can find themselves in. Just when you need to be most able to think clearly about your work, you are likely to be preoccupied in dealing with the problem you or your family is facing.

Fortunately, there are five key steps you can consider ahead of time to give yourself a framework for coping with such crises, and getting back on track. Let’s have a look!

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Working from home sounds awesome.

Daydreaming in your cubicle, it’s easy to get swept up in the fantasy. You imagine rolling out of bed whenever you please, leisurely sipping your coffee, and swapping a strict corporate dress code for pajamas…

Until you actually do it.

It doesn’t take long to discover that, as great as working from home can be, it also has its challenges. We aren’t used to dealing with them while working in the typical office environment.

The sooner you can overcome these challenges, the sooner you’ll be happy, productive, and profitable in your business – even in your pajamas.

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Corey PembertonCorey Pemberton

Want to know why you’re struggling in business?

It’s probably not due to a lack of effort. A staggering number of entrepreneurs put in the blood and sweat and tears – and still end up wondering where things went wrong.

Many of these fledgling business owners obsess over technical strategies and complicated marketing tactics. But they ignore one of the most important elements it takes to succeed: a proper mindset.

Developing an abundance mindset can make the difference between continuing to struggle… or starting to thrive.

Keep reading to find out how!

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Corey PembertonCorey Pemberton

Sparkler

The halls have been cleared of holly, the turkey is no more, and the last of the tinsel has gone. Even your headache is a distant memory. So, with your thoughts turning to the exciting new year ahead, what should you and your staff be doing to challenge yourselves in 2017?

It’s an important question, because every business needs to have ambitions and goals. The New Year is also a traditional time to assess the progress you’ve made, and decide how you want to improve in the year ahead.

With that in mind, in this article we explore are five ideas to give you some New Year inspiration and challenge you to go further. Let’s get cracking!

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Image via Unsplash.

Confession time:

I’ve never pulled a work-related all-nighter.

I went my entire academic career never cramming for a test, or staying up until 3 am to finish a paper. I don’t personally know the feeling of seeing the sun gently creep above the horizon as I work, frantically, to finish a project.

Now, part of that can be put down to the fact that (at the risk of sounding cocky) I have cultivated decent time management skills. It’s also based on the fact that I have a very clearly defined sense of when, where, and how I am most functional.

When it comes to working at night (and especially if it involves extensive research, writing, or critical thought—all things that both my work and my university experience demanded of me in spades) I am essentially useless. Once 7 pm hits, I am no longer capable of producing good quality work. Evenings, for me, are for socializing, errands, Netflix, a glass of wine—you get the idea.

Though I could choose to power through, I prefer to take a different approach. Instead of forcing myself to do work in a context in which I know my output will be inferior, I make an effort to work with what I know suits my work preferences. This brings us to the idea of the “user manual.”

Image via Unsplash.

Creating your own “user manual”

The longer we spend working (whether that be at school, at our jobs, starting our businesses, or on pet projects), the more evident it becomes that we have certain times of day and environments that encourage us to do our best work.

You might have discovered that you prefer to do emails in the morning over coffee (or they just won’t get done), that the Pomodoro technique really helps you focus on projects, or that you do your best creative work while listening to a classical radio station with noise canceling headphones.

Rather than simply letting this information float around in your mind and disappear just as quickly, consider honing in on it.

Spend some time determining where you work best, what time of day you get the most done, and what atmosphere you require to be as productive, creative, and efficient as possible. What systems need to be put in place to help maximize your output? How can you optimize your environment, lifestyle, and surroundings to get the best possible out of yourself?

In essence, you’re creating what I’ll be referring to in this article as your own personal user manual.

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Briana MorgaineBriana Morgaine