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Web News & Tips - Issue #243

Web News & Tips
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Four Traps that Catch Entrepreneurs

Web News

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Four Traps that Catch Entrepreneurs

By Claudette Rowley

"A problem cannot be solved on the same level that it was created." - Albert Einstein

Trap #1: I am my business. 

Truth: Who you are is so much bigger than your business. Your business is simply one expression of you. You as a person are complex and multi-faceted, and in the best of situations, your business doesn't define you, you define it. Just as it's unhealthy to let a relationship define all of who you are, so is it unwise to allow your business to completely define you.

A common subset of this trap is: "If my business fails, I'm a failure." When discussing this topic with clients, I often hear two responses to business success and failure. When an entrepreneur fails, she or he often falls right into self-blame. And when an entrepreneur succeeds - "I just got lucky" is a common response.

Trap #2: If it's worth doing, it must be hard. 

Truth: This is a consistent message in our culture. If something is worth doing, we think it must involve incredibly hard work. When I coach entrepreneurs, I often ask the question "How could this be easy?" The notion that hard work equals worth is so embedded in us, that we sometimes feel uncomfortable when a great opportunity drops in our lap or new venture comes together seamlessly. Yes, as entrepreneurs, we work hard when we need to. However, hard work does not have to include the notion that struggling, suffering and working 80 hours per week makes us better entrepreneurs or more virtuous people. As much as possible, let it be easy. Accept great opportunities, and let people help you.

Trap #3: My success is measured in profits.

Truth: Expand your definition of success. What does success actually mean to you? Success is measured in many different ways, profit being only one of them. Are you making a social contribution? Are you creating an innovative product? What is your vision and are your realizing it? Do you have autonomy and control over your own time? Success is relative and a matter of perception. One person's success is anothers failure. How high is your bar? Some entrepreneurs set the bar so high for themselves that they can never "succeed" in their own minds. They can't win - kind of like a dog chasing its tail.

Trap #4: I can't have what I want. 

Truth: Often as entrepreneurs, we feel that we must follow a set of rules about how to "do" entrepreneurship. These rules may or may not match what we want as entrepreneurs, leading us to feel like we can't have what we want. For example, you might identify that you want to structure your business so that you don't work on Friday afternoons. In response, you might hear a voice in your head that says something like, "You'll never be successful unless you work as many hours as possible."

You get to want what you want. In my own life, and the lives of my clients, I've noticed that the more closely aligned my life is with what I want - the more easily my business flows to me. Here's why: when you are doing something you don't want to do or don't like to do, it drains precious mental, emotional and physical energy from you. Remember a time when you were so engaged in an activity that you forgot to look at the clock. You might have forgotten to eat lunch or missed an appointment. When you're that "high on life", you create energy. When you do what you deeply want, your energy flows in a positive direction, creating opportunities that might not have previously existed. 

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Web News

Internet access in U.S. public schools has grown from 3 percent in 1994 to 99 percent in 2002, but the digital divide still exists in homes with 41 percent of blacks and Hispanics using a computer at home compared to 77 percent of whites, according to two reports released by the U.S. Department of Education. 

One of the reports concludes that only 31 percent of students from families earning less than $20,000 use computers at home, compared to 80 percent of those from families earning more than $75,000. 

Data points to a continued improvement of global chip sales, a key indicator for the health of the tech sector. 

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said that chip sales in September 2003 increased to $14.4 billion, up from $13.6 billion in August, a monthly jump of 6.5 percent, and a spike of more than 17 percent year-over-year, the industry's strongest growth since 1990. 

The sounds of silence are dependent on location, as a survey on mobile etiquette by Cingular Wireless examined whether respondents were cognizant of public surroundings when their phones rang, with some geographic regions acting more politely than others. 

The survey revealed that the majority of respondents weren't likely to answer a ringing phone while having a face-to-face conversation with a business associate but only by a slim margin: 61 percent. The most considerate phone users in this situation were found in Phoenix, Denver, Tucson, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Mesa, and Colorado Springs. 

Broadcasters are beginning to feel pressure to reassess their business models as market and investment analysts note increased penetration of ad-skipping personal video recorders (PVR). 

Two reports this week, one from an analyst at SG Cowen and another from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, warn that TV broadcasters should seek alternatives to their traditional ad-based revenue models or risk losing ad dollars as consumers up their use of PVRs. 

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