Work Environment of an Entrepreneur: Why is it Important for Success?

Work Environment of an Entrepreneur: Why is it Important for Success?

Becoming a successful startup involves having core entrepreneurial skills such as passion, perseverance, leadership abilities, and financial management. These skills are certainly important for success, however, a work environment can also significantly impact a business.  The work environment of an entrepreneur can either accelerate or hinder business growth, and focusing on what type of work environment will best support your startup, recognizing its benefits, and learning how to establish it can make a huge difference.


What elements make up a work environment?


A work environment is not created from one single element, nor can it be analyzed from one angle. It is made up of many elements in the workplace which typically fall into three main categories: physical environment, business culture, and working conditions.


Physical environment

The size, layout, location, facilities offered, furnishings, etc. 

Business culture

The manner in which people work and interact with one another as well as the overall vibe or feeling. Business culture also includes company goals and values. 

Working conditions

The employment terms for staff including compensation and working hours. It can also include the presence or absence of initiatives to encourage a healthy work environment.  


What are different types of work environments?


According to Holland’s Theory, one of the most widely researched and applied theories of career development, there are six different types of work environments that correspond with six personality types. The six work environments are:


Promotes physical activity and is best for “Doers” who often prefer using tools and working with their hands (i.e. engineering, construction).

Built on critical thinking and problem-solving. People who are “Thinkers” thrive in this environment (i.e. healthcare, technology).

Encourages innovation and personal expression, best for “Creators” who do well in flexible environments (i.e. design, fine art).

Fosters communication and provides help between team members. “Healers” thrive in this work environment because they tend to have more empathy and compassion (i.e. social work, nursing). 

Places an emphasis on supporting others to reach goals, an environment best for “Persuaders” who do well with selling, convincing, and debating (i.e. real estate, public service).

A more traditional environment that attracts “Organizers” who enjoy order and practicality (i.e. finance, traditional offices).


What are the benefits of having a good work environment?


Depending on what type of business you are operating and what industry you are in, the type of work environment that will be best for your company and team to thrive in will vary from other businesses. 

However, no matter which type is best for you and your business, there are common benefits to establishing and fostering a healthy work environment.


3 Major Benefits of Having a Good Work Environment:


  • Increases Morale

When your work environment properly supports you and your team, it boosts everyone’s morale reducing high tensions, stress, and promotes good mental health which is extremely important for entrepreneurs. Working every day amongst people who are generally happy, love their job, and are motivated and inspired is invaluable for your business.


  • Increases Productivity

Working in an environment that is unpleasant, without purpose, and generally chaotic is not conducive to productivity. When you establish an ideal environment it will naturally increase productivity as you will have the space, tools, and atmosphere to be motivated to accomplish more.


  • Attracts the Best Talent

As your business continues to grow, you will need to grow your team. One of the best ways to attract the best people is to have a great work environment that makes people want to work for you over other companies. As part of your recruitment process, you can highlight what sets you apart from other prospects they may be considering.


How do you begin establishing a good work environment as an entrepreneur?


As a startup business owner, especially in the beginning stages of your company, you most likely have limited resources to set up the ideal physical work environment that you have in your mind. Although the physical environment is only one aspect of a work environment, it can be difficult to have the business culture and working conditions that you want if you are operating out of an uninspiring space.

One of the best ways an entrepreneur can begin building a great work environment is to join a startup incubator

Startup incubators are typically free to clients and offer a workspace that is designed to promote collaboration, productivity, and networking. This environment cannot be mirrored by a home setup or a small office; the entrepreneurial energy, support systems, and culture are unparalleled.  Choosing to join a startup incubator will put your business on the right path to establishing its own unique work environment within the startup incubator space.

Lifelong Learning: What it is and Why it’s Important for Entrepreneurs

Lifelong Learning: What it is and Why it’s Important for Entrepreneurs

Formal education (i.e. a university degree or college diploma) has long been considered what an individual needs to be successful. Although it is still certainly advantageous and necessary to do well in many industries, entrepreneurs have begun placing greater emphasis on lifelong learning, which was found to be the number one characteristic to achieve success as a small business owner in a 2021 study.

Technologies, tools, customer needs, and industry practices are constantly changing, sometimes on a monthly basis. To stay relevant and competitive in today’s business world, entrepreneurs must adopt a lifelong learning approach so their knowledge and skills continually evolve.

So what is lifelong learning? Why is it important and how do you do it? We have outlined everything you need to know so you can begin your journey.


What is lifelong learning?


Lifelong learning is the never-ending pursuit of knowledge that enhances personal growth and development. The term often refers to learning that takes place outside formal education settings such as a school or corporate training program, though these outlets are not necessarily excluded.

Lifelong learning as an entrepreneur helps you to grow your business, and build the essential entrepreneurial skills that help achieve business success. 


Types of Lifelong Learning


There are many different types of lifelong learning which are essentially different motivations to pursue it. Some people are primarily driven by one motivator whereas others are driven by several. Main motivators include: 

  1. Curiosity – An eagerness and desire to be informed and gain knowledge.
  2. Purpose – Wanting to learn information and skills to put into a particular practice including learning through first-hand experiences.
  3. Social Improvement – Develop social skills, networking, teamwork abilities etc.
  4. Self-Learning – Discovering your true strengths, weaknesses, purpose, and interests.


Why is lifelong learning important for entrepreneurs?


Humans are naturally driven to learn, grow and evolve, which is extremely easy to see in children. However, as adults, we sometimes need an extra push or encouragement to continue this healthy path of development. 

As an entrepreneur, you want your business to be the best that it can be which means staying ahead of the curve and market trends, having the skills to adapt to business changes, and knowing how to lead your team efficiently and effectively.

Lifelong learning is important so you are remaining relevant amongst your customers and constantly improving so you have the capacity for growth.


Examples of lifelong learning


There are many examples of lifelong learning that can help you succeed as an entrepreneur which includes: 

  • Developing new skills 

Whether it is learning the art of public speaking, mastering how to use new technology, or you are training on how to become an effective business leader, constantly developing new skills will give you the tools to become a better business owner.


  • Researching new ideas and concepts

Self-initiating research through online searches, podcasts, news articles, and more is a great way to continually learn new ideas and spark creativity for your business.


  • Acquiring new knowledge 

Expanding your knowledge on a variety of topics can bring different perspectives you had not previously considered, strengthening your ability to think outside the box.


Benefits of Lifelong Learning


Lifelong learning offers countless benefits not only for your business but for your own personal growth. Although at first lifelong learning can seem like another thing to add to your already long list of “to-dos”, the benefits you receive really do outweigh the effort put in. 


  1. New skills and knowledge gained

The most obvious benefit to lifelong learning is that it allows you to acquire new skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis. This alone comes with many other benefits such as improved business operations, personal growth, and overall fulfillment both professionally and personally.

  1. Business growth

If you are continually learning and applying new skills to your business, there is a good chance you will experience business growth and an increase in revenue. Keeping informed about what your target audience is looking for and how you can meet their needs better than your competitors, is just one example of how lifelong learning can yield positive results for your business.

  1. Refreshes your mindset

As an entrepreneur, sometimes it is easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks. By introducing a commitment to lifelong learning, you will find yourself becoming motivated to seek out ways to learn new information throughout your day, even if what you learn seems small. Slowly, this will create a refreshed mindset so you do not feel bogged down by some of the daily tasks that come with owning and operating a small business.

  1. Places a larger focus on what matters most 

Every entrepreneur is goal-driven. If they weren’t, great business ideas would still be concepts and would not be transformed into businesses. 

However, when trying to get your business off the ground, especially in the beginning stages, the bigger picture goals you had set for yourself and your business can become foggy as you are often more concerned with daily urgencies and troubleshooting.

Lifelong learning has the ability to make you want to find opportunities to seek out new skills and ideas that will evolve and grow your business and reach your ultimate goals.  

  1. Enhances and improves upon existing skills

One of the greatest benefits of lifelong learning is it’s not always about acquiring brand new skills or knowledge. It is just as beneficial to build upon existing skills that are valuable to have both personally and professionally. 

For example, as an entrepreneur, you already have gained skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, leadership, brainstorming, and more, but these are the skills that can always be finessed and improved. 

As your business grows, so should your skills as you will take on greater responsibilities, manage a larger team, and come across new situations.

  1. Improves self-confidence

As you become more knowledgeable and skilled, you will naturally gain greater confidence in your abilities to take on the next big project or achieve bigger goals.

Perhaps at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, you were unsure about how to market your company, create a startup budget, or how to effectively participate in networking events, but after introducing lifelong learning you have not only acquired a pile of knowledge in these areas but you are confident in applying them in your business.

  1. Gain a new qualification

Most often when lifelong learning is referred to, it is informal learning that is being referenced such as outside of a school or training course. However, this does not mean that these elements can not be a part of your overall learning journey.

There are many online and in-person training programs or certification courses that can really enhance your understanding of a particular subject. Once completed, you can add a new qualification or certification to your credentials as a business owner.

Tips for Lifelong Learning


1. Stay motivated

Lifelong learning is self-initiated, ongoing, with no real parameters. Therefore, it requires a great deal of motivation to make it a priority or it will always fall to the backburner. A tip is to set incentives for yourself to keep yourself on track. 


2. Make a list

Once you decide that you are going to adopt lifelong learning, it can be overwhelming when there is a world of possibilities waiting for you. To stay focused on learning what is most important for you and/or your business, it is helpful to make a list according to priority. 

This list should not be static, allowing you to constantly add, remove, or change things you want to learn.


3. Add structure

Because there are no parameters for lifelong learning, adding some structure can be really beneficial. Examples of this are implementing a schedule (i.e. every morning you start your day with 30 minutes of learning) or a ritual (i.e. writing down a goal before you start your 30 minutes and then writing down what you actually learned when you are done).

Adding structure will naturally make you approach your learning more seriously, and you’ll be a lot more likely to stick with it.  


4. Proactively seek opportunities

Lifelong learning opportunities are endless, but you sometimes need to find them. Some opportunities do just “come along” but mostly they come from proactively searching for what is out there for you to grasp. Keep your eyes out for upcoming classes at local community centres, reading groups, or webinars.


5. Don’t make excuses

An entrepreneur’s life is busy, therefore it can be easy to justify why you haven’t dedicated time to learning. By staying motivated, adding structure, and seeking opportunities as listed above, there should be no reason why you can’t make lifelong learning an active part of your routine.


How to become a lifelong learner


There is no right or wrong way how to become a lifelong learner. Every individual’s approach to lifelong learning is unique because their goals are different. 

However, there are some common ways you can become one.


  • Develop a sense of constant curiosity. 

It is easy to become blasé about many things in life. When you transform this into curiosity, you will see how this significantly impacts your creativity which can benefit your business.


  • Read more books that will benefit you personally and/or professionally.

Books are a great resource that in today’s technology-driven world are often left behind. Books offer an in-depth look at specific topics rather than grazing the surface.


  • Utilize technology

Let’s be honest, as an entrepreneur, you do not have time to read a full book on every subject you are interested in. This is where podcasts, documentaries, and YouTube channels are fantastic. It allows you to become introduced to a topic which can lead to researching further podcasts and videos or searching for articles or books on the topic if you want to learn more.

Podcasts are a convenient way to soak in knowledge when you are busy doing something else such as driving in your car, riding transit, working on minor tasks, or on-the-go running errands. 


  • Invest in short training courses

Training courses can offer information and skills development that cannot be learned as effectively through books or technology. 

Training courses can be found online or in-person and are often taught by an industry professional who not only provides knowledge on the subject matter, but a first-hand experience that is invaluable.


  • Keep an eye on the news and market trends

Staying in the know on what is happening locally, nationally, and around the world is not only good for your own personal knowledge but can impact your business. Getting into a routine of spending some time at the beginning or end of your day reading news headlines and what the market is doing will make you feel like you have your finger on the pulse.


  • Talk to mentors or other professionals that have more experience

Business mentors have walked in your shoes and have personally experienced the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. The first-hand knowledge they can provide is better than any other resource for learning because they can answer specific questions and provide tailored advice on how to handle circumstances you are currently navigating.

Learn the benefits of having a startup business mentor, and why forming this type of relationship will not only greatly contribute to your lifelong learning, but help your business succeed.

What are the causes and effects of workaholism?

What are the causes and effects of workaholism?

It is no secret that entrepreneurs are passionate about their business and are driven to succeed. This can lead to becoming consumed with your startup, especially in the early stages. But when do your drive and passion begin to border the line of workaholism? What does it truly mean to be a workaholic? There are several causes and effects of workaholism and it is important to understand what being a workaholic is, the signs to watch out for, and how it can be detrimental to your health and business success. 


What is workaholism?


Most people view workaholism as working long hours and always wanting to be at work. Although this can certainly be a big indicator, this is not always the case.

Psychologist Wayne E. Oates coined the term workaholic in 1968, defining it as someone who has “an uncontrollable need to work incessantly.” 

It is a misconception that working a lot automatically means you are a workaholic, and similarly that working a “normal” amount means you are good at maintaining work-life balance. The reality is someone who loves to work is not necessarily a workaholic, and someone who works less can be.


What is the difference between workaholism and working long hours?


Dr. Oates’ work shows that workaholism is not necessarily determined by the number of hours worked, but rather by the extent to which work controls and negatively impacts one’s life and health.

For example, Person A may work 70 hours a week, but is relaxed and mentally “switched off” when they are on personal time. By contrast, Person B works 40 hours per week, but in their personal time are constantly worried about deadlines and projects, obsessively checking their phone and email, and feel guilty when they are not working.

A study on workaholism analyzing more than 3,500 employees found that the number of work hours was not related to health issues, but workaholism was. Employees who worked long hours but did not obsess about work, reported fewer health complaints. 

However, those found to be workaholics, regardless of working long hours or not, reported more health complaints and had increased Risk for Metabolic Syndrome (RMS). The same people reported a higher need for recovery and more sleep problems, emotional exhaustion, and depressive feelings. 


What are the causes of workaholism?


There are many causes of workaholism, and they are commonly found in three categories:


1. Psychological 

If a person is a perfectionist, overly needs their peers’ approval, tries to escape life’s stresses, or has emotional voids in their life, they may be more apt to develop workaholism. 


But at the end of the day, your 200 emails will be there whether you take a break or not, and you will feel better and ready to tackle those emails after a well-deserved break.


2. Childhood

Having to take on adult responsibilities at a young age or growing up with workaholic parents can have a large effect later in life. In addition, if someone is taught as a child that acceptance is earned through performance, this can also shape how a person behaves in their professional life.


Take the time to reflect on how you are feeling at work, and how you are feeling throughout the day.


3. Lack of emotional or social outlets outside of work

When someone has a lack of emotional or social outlets outside of work whether, through extracurriculars, family, or friends, it can lead people to gradually become workaholics, pouring all of their time and energy into something that gives them a sense of belonging or purpose.  


What are the signs and symptoms of workaholism?


After learning what workaholism actually is, you may be questioning if perhaps you have workaholic tendencies. There are some common signs and symptoms of workaholism that may indicate you are a workaholic. 

  • Every job requires perfection, regardless of how exhausted and mentally drained you become trying to achieve it.
  • Your days are completely filled with work-related tasks with zero room for anything else. 
  • Building and maintaining social connections and relationships outside of work is difficult.
  • Feel anxious when you consider doing something other than work and feel guilty if you do.
  • Ignoring physical needs like food, sleep, and taking breaks because it cuts into your time to get work done. 
  • The majority of your self-worth, feeling of acceptance, and personal identity are wrapped up in work.


What are the effects of workaholism?


Ignoring signs and symptoms of workaholism can be dangerous as it can take a severe toll on a person’s mental, physical, work, and social/family health. 

Here are lists of common effects of workaholism:


Mental Health 

  1. Obsessive thoughts
  2. Impatience and Irritation
  3. Stress and Burnout
  4. Poor concentration
  5. Emotional disengagement

Physical Health 

  1. Headaches
  2. Fatigue
  3. Exacerbation of chronic diseases
  4. Stomach pain
  5. Loss of appetite

Work Health

  1. Lack of productivity
  2. Difficulty working in teams
  3. Rarely delegate
  4. Decrease in creative thinking
  5. Unpleasant to be around

Social/Family Health

  1. Lose touch with friends
  2. Family relationships impacted
  3. The feeling of isolation and loneliness 
  4. Are no longer invited to social functions
  5. Work trumps everything else


How do you overcome workaholism?


Some strategies to overcome workaholism include setting firm work boundaries, being intentional about rest, and evaluating if your workload needs to be adjusted. 

As an entrepreneur, you are determined to grow your business and succeed, but take notice of your behaviours and habits as you immerse yourself in work. Make sure you are keeping yourself balanced, healthy, stress-free, and happy.

Above all, you should seek the advice of a doctor or mental health professional if you believe you are a workaholic or are beginning to show signs of becoming one. They can give you accurate information and help form a plan to help you overcome workaholism.

How to Write a Good Elevator Pitch for Startups

How to Write a Good Elevator Pitch for Startups

When you’re trying to grow a startup business, entrepreneurs should do a lot of networking to drive brand awareness and connect with the right people. Whether you’re attending a formally organized networking event, an industry conference, or you strike up a conversation with someone in public, it is essential that every startup is ready to go with a well-executed elevator pitch. Having a good elevator pitch can mean the difference between attracting interest from an investor, landing a new client, or connecting with a startup mentor who can contribute significantly to your company’s success. So, what exactly should a good elevator pitch for startups look like? 

We have included all the essentials so you are ready to create an elevator pitch that is memorable and effective.


What is an elevator pitch?


An elevator pitch is a concise yet powerful description of your idea, business, or product that can easily be verbalized in the time you would be on a short elevator ride – about 30 seconds or less. 

In that half a minute, the person you are pitching to should clearly understand what it is you do but left feeling intrigued, curious, and wanting to learn more.

Nailing your pitch is what will separate you from others, and it will open up large opportunities for your business. 


What is an example of an effective elevator pitch?


An example of an effective elevator pitch comes from Text Request, a small business specializing in texting software.

Your business relies on communication with clients, but calls, voicemails, and emails are less effective with people under 40. But almost all texts are read within three minutes. Text Request makes live two-way texting possible for your business with our easy-to-use dashboard. People can text you, too, and we can even use your current phone number in many cases. Other businesses use Text Request to increase leads, grow revenue, improve operations, and drive customer satisfaction, all because of the power to connect instantly.


Using Text Request’s pitch as an example, we will outline how to write an elevator pitch, what information should be included, tips to consider, and things to avoid.  


How do you write an elevator pitch for startups?


Capturing a person’s attention in a short amount of time can be a challenge. That is why effective elevator pitches are packed with vital information about the business (without being overbearing). 


An effective elevator pitch should include the following important information:


Who you are 

Text Request

What you do 

Makes live two-way texting possible for your business with our easy-to-use dashboard.

Why you do it

Business relies on communication with clients, but calls, voicemails, and emails are less effective with people under 40.

What makes your product standout

Businesses use Text Request to increase leads, grow revenue, improve operations, and drive customer satisfaction.

Who you serve 

Businesses that rely on communication with its clients.


3 Tips for Writing an Elevator Pitch


1. Capture their attention.

Beginning with a question or strong statement that highlights the problem your business is solving is a great way to capture your audience’s attention.


Example: Your business relies on communication with clients, but calls, voicemails, and emails are less effective with people under 40. But almost all texts are read within three minutes.


2. The simpler, the better.

When an elevator pitch gets too technical and complicated, you will lose your audience. Remember, no one knows your business more than you do, and sometimes industry terms and concepts are not as widely known as you may think.


Example: Makes live two-way texting possible for your business with our easy-to-use dashboard.


3. Focus on an issue faced by your target audience.

What issues are they currently struggling with and how does your business solve their problems? 


Example: Calls, voicemails, and emails are less effective with people under 40.


3 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing an Elevator Pitch


1. Don’t be a robot. 

Having a well-prepared elevator pitch is essential, but you also don’t want to sound too rehearsed. There is a balance between being prepared and sounding like you have memorized your pitch word for word. Practice saying your pitch in a way that seems natural and will flow at networking events.


2. Don’t give too much away. 

There is a difference between providing all of the important information about your business and revealing every little detail. You want to leave your listener wanting more. 


3. Don’t be pushy. 

An overly aggressive salesperson quickly makes people uncomfortable and uninterested. Your pitch should exude confidence, but do not make your audience feel pressured to invest or become a customer on the spot. 


How can you improve your elevator pitch?


Improving your elevator pitch really comes down to one word – practice. It takes time to master a pitch. Do not feel discouraged if, in the beginning, you feel a bit shaky in your delivery — the more you do it, the more natural it will come to you.

The mentorship of a startup incubator can help you finesse your pitch, work out the kinks, and help you prepare to “go live” at upcoming networking events.

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