CONQUER BUSINESS LIKE WONDER WOMAN

Far from masking the devastation of war, Wonder Woman plunges its heroine, Diana Prince, into a World War I war zone. When she finds herself on the battlefield in No Man’s Land, Diana is ready to jump in and fight. Her battlefield guide, Steve Trevor, fearing for her safety and losing sight of their mission to find Ares, tells her that they are not there to save lives. Her response: “You’re right. But it’s what I am going to do.”

As she mastered one skill, her aunt and trainer, Antiope, would add on new challenges to build endurance, strength and character. Each new challenge and repetition helped strengthen Wonder Woman’s muscle memory, which enabled her to focus on strategic decisions.

In turn, this strategy allowed her to get everyone on her team engaged with the same goals by transforming their strengths and desires into a team of change agent disruptors who work for the common good.

But, did you also know that Wonder Woman is also an inspiration for entrepreneurs as well?

Wield the power of empathy.

Diana can detect others’ emotions — in other words, she has the power of empathy. That further explains why she’s such an important member of the Justice League.

Empathy is perhaps the most important skill that entrepreneurs can possess. By walking in someone else’s shoes you’re better suited to understand and solve their pain points. That is what entrepreneurship is all about — making the world a better place?

Be fearless in battle, even when the odds are against you.

Diana has fearlessly battled monsters, gods and even allies, including Superman. Even when it appears that it’s against all odds, Diana willingly faces these foes for the greater good of humanity. However, Diana never goes into battle without a plan. She’s an excellent strategist and doesn’t just start smashing everything around her (like the Hulk).

The odds are always stacked against entrepreneurs — particularly women entrepreneurs — so always test the market and validate your ideas before going into battle.

Cultivate a practice of discipline and iteration.

While technology has leveled the playing field of marketing, social media has also created a noisy marketplace where large-scale campaigns can fall short of expectations and cause internal turmoil inside the walls of an organization.

Be a warrior for truth, peace and equality.

Wonder Woman’s goals are to promote truth, peace and equality – despite being an Amazonian warrior. This dichotomy is what makes her character so appealing and a great leader and teammate. It’s also why her most well-known weapon is the Lasso of Truth that forces people to tell the truth, even when it’s difficult to hear.

Truth, honesty and integrity also make entrepreneurs heroic. It’s what makes them exceptional leaders. It’s what rallies employees, investors, stakeholders, and customers around them. It’s how they make the right business decisions. It’s what separates them from questionable and shady competitors.

The importance of mentorship – and paying it forward.

Diana sought a mentor before becoming Wonder Woman because she needed a guide to train her to become a warrior. One of Diana’s mentors was her aunt, Antiope. In the comics, Diana returned the favor by mentoring a number of portages like Wonder Girl and allies like Etta Candy and Paula von Gunther.

Entrepreneurs should also seek someone to train and guide them in order to help them hone their skills. Mentors can also share their mistakes and existing business knowledge. However, entrepreneurs pay it forward someday by also taking an emerging entrepreneur under their wings.

Be a warrior for truth, peace and equality.

Wonder Woman’s goals are to promote truth, peace and equality – despite being an Amazonian warrior. This dichotomy is what makes her character so appealing and a great leader and teammate. It’s also why her most well-known weapon is the Lasso of Truth that forces people to tell the truth, even when it’s difficult to hear.

Truth, honesty and integrity also make entrepreneurs heroic. It’s what makes them exceptional leaders. It’s what rallies employees, investors, stakeholders, and customers around them. It’s how they make the right business decisions. It’s what separates them from questionable and shady competitors.

 

WHAT MAKES YOU SUCCESSFUL?

Have you ever wondered why or how people like Jeff Bezos or Indu Jain became what they have become? And when you do, what comes to mind as possible reasons? Mostly I hear people saying things like Luck, Hard Work, Focus, and/or Dedication. Hmm, it makes sense but really is that all? Let’s look at them one by one.

Luck: This is the favorite one! Whenever we look at successful people, we call them ‘lucky!’ But what is luck? Is it just a chance, a good fortune? If yes, then how do people get repeated successes? If I were to say that luck is important too, then I would define luck as a confluence of perseverance, prospects and preference. Opportunities present themselves every day to every person. Do they not? But only a person, who recognizes them and seizes them without delay, gets to convert these opportunities to their preferred outcomes. And we very comfortably tag them ‘lucky’. However, a close look reveals that only those people who persevere to look for prospective opportunities to exploit become lucky. Hey, but this is no rocket science! Still why most of the ordinary folks are not able to do so? Why?

Hard work: “…No, No, it’s not luck, its Hard work or rather Smart work…” This is the answer of most people who don’t believe in luck. Malcolm Gladwell argues in his book, Outliers, that if someone spends 10,000 hours towards any activity, then he can become a world-class expert in it. Or in other words, 10,000 hours of hard work is required to be extremely successful. And I am sure he is correct. No success is achieved without hard work or sweat. Even the child prodigies became world-class experts in their fields, only after working at it for a long time. Mozart had his most famous compilations much late in his career. Sachin Tendulkar was at his best only when he was 24-year-old, although he had started showed brilliance at a young age of 16. I am yet to find a single successful person who hasn’t done his share of handwork. But, why is putting 10,000 hours so difficult? It is only 5 years of work! Still, why do most of ordinary people give up sooner? Why?

Focus

When I asked my dad what one skill is the most important when it comes to achieving success, my dad told me, “Your ability to focus,” when I pressed him on his answer he says, “Focus allows you to drown out the noise, it allows you to say no to things that are not going to aid you on your path to success, it’s the one skill that is applicable to any goal, and the skill necessary to acquire any other skill.”

Focus has allowed me to open for Comedians who regularly appear on Comedy Central within my first year of taking up standup.

Focus has allowed me to put thirty pounds of muscle over the last six years and win my weight class at powerlifting tournaments.

So definitely believe that focus is a key to success.

Courage

Most people will never live up to their potential because they do not have the courage to take the risks necessary.

Most people will not live the life they want, not because they don’t work hard enough, but because they do not have the courage to risks temporary failure.

Being courageous is like taking steroids for your life. You will see massive growth very quickly, but the more you use the greater risks.

Discipline

Where focus is your ability to say no. Discipline is your ability to action, whether you feel like it or not. Discipline understands that your emotions are not meant to help you. It is the ability to see through your own BS and do what you know you should do whether you feel like it or not.

Ultimate Success: Knowingly and unknowingly we often do things that are in line with our inner drive, along with other things as well. The important thing to note is that successful people choses to do only those things that are in line with their inner drive, and ordinary people end up doing random things. And quite often, ordinary people end up spending their lives driven by external forces or drives which are not in line with inner drive, and live a stressful and unhappy life.

If you want to be successful, identify your inner drive, and make the relevant trade-offs. When your inner drive becomes the enabler, then the combination of hard work, focus, and luck becomes possible and success and happiness is achieved.

EVERY PROBLEM IS A LEADERSHIP PROBLEM

With as many problems as we all face in our work and life, it seems as if there is never enough time to solve each one without dealing with some adversity along the way. Problems keep mounting so fast that we find ourselves taking short-cuts to temporarily alleviate the tension points – so we can move onto the next problem. In the process, we fail to solve the core of each problem we are dealt; thus we continuously get caught in the trap of a never-ending cycle that makes it difficult to find any real resolutions.

Pick any leadership challenge; it comes down to problem solving issue. Nothing more and nothing less. Issues always revolve around talent, competition, operation, execution, strategy, etc. Of course these are small problems which a leader can easily solve right? Surprisingly, No.

Most often the problem arises when they try to work on the wrong problem ta wrong time with wrong reasons. This happens due to lack of perception and lack of understanding.

If you ever say “No one can do this as good as I can”, this is a leadership problem itself as well as a false belief.

No one is immune to leadership failure. A leader might fail to recognize the opportunity with various people on the team and in the company. Failures can caused frustration and turmoil, hurt some and confused others. Was the leader solely responsible? Of course not. Did the team members involved bear some responsibility? Of course they did.

When you break it down, problem solving is a competency. It’s a skill to be developed like any other. But the one aspect that makes problem solving more complex than other leadership skills is that the best solutions are rarely created in a vacuum, and rarely do they come from the leader themselves.

ORGANIC VISIBILITY

An online presence for your online business goes far beyond setting up a website that contains the name of your company and contact details. It involves creating a virtual point of business where people can find useful information on your website and interact with you through social media networks.

In the digital age, it is absolutely essential for your business to have an online presence. Whether it’s a website, an e-commerce platform, a social media page or a combination of all three, getting your company online will reap major benefits. Even if your company does not conduct business online, customers and potential customers are expecting to see you online. If they don’t see you there, you could be losing out on the opportunity to increase your customer base and get the word out about your business.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why your business needs to establish its online presence:

  1. Make it Easier for Potential Customers Come to You

Today, if someone wants more information about a company, they’re most likely to do their research online. Whether they’re specifically looking for your company, or they just want to find any company that offers the products or services that your company offers, having an online presence will give you a competitive edge. Potential customers will not put a lot of effort into finding you, and they should not have to. A simple Google search should provide them with all the information they seek.

Real life example: Your business distributes seafood, meats, fine wines and other spirits. A potential customer is having an impromptu family get-together and needs a few bottles of Wine and some shrimp.  She uses her smartphone to search for “wine and seafood near me”. Your company’s website is listed in the search results. After browsing your website, she’s satisfied that you can provide her with what she needs. You’ve just earned another customer!

  1. Make it Easier to Build Relationships with Customers and Potential Customers

Social media is all about building relationships. This is true for both individuals and businesses. Social media gives your brand a voice – it makes your company more “human” and relatable. Customers and potential customers can interact with your brand on a more personal level. It also gives you the opportunity to truly get to know your customers. If everyone is on social media except you, you are missing out on an invaluable opportunity to connect and communicate with your target audience. Social media is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to get persons interested in your company and to form real relationships with real people.

3. Effective Marketing

Online presence makes it easier for you to market your business and sell your products. A properly designed and informative website with well written content enables customers to make informed purchasing choices. The web provides a marketing platform that gives you a cost effective way to reach a wider audience than conventional marketing techniques.

4. Accessibility

It is essential for both small and large businesses to maximize on the benefits of having a strong web presence. Aspects such as dynamic search algorithms and social networks are influential in the process of making it easier for customers to locate different businesses online. A business that does not have an online business is regarded as non-existent in the modern and competitive business environment.

Customers get information through search engines and the internet is an unrivaled source of data. You have the option of hiring professionals who can help you establish an online presence based on their knowledge of factors ranging from latest algorithms to search engine codes. Marketing your business online constitutes your website, SEO and strategic use of social media.

LET’S HAVE LUNCH?

CEO of the organization is often seen as the unapproachable “Devil”. Being on the top of the hierarchy, employees think twice before entering their superior’s cabin. Discussing problems long forgotten, some subordinate get awkward and stutter-y during meeting. This can result into a communication gap between the CEO and his employees, which in long term can affect the management of the organization and later the services provided by them.

A terrific way to foster connection and safety, belonging, and mattering in the organization culture is for the CEO to have lunch with small groups of cross-functional employees on a regular basis.

The spirit of this CEO Lunch program is to spend an hour with the CEO talking about everyone’s experiences at the company, helping everyone get to know one another, and helping everyone see the humanity of the CEO.

Here are the reasons real companies have started having family-style meals:

A closer team

When Impraise, a performance-management software company based in New York, had just five employees, they all sat down and had lunch together. Now, the company has more than 30 employees, and they still eat together at one large table.

“We’ve found this has a great effect on maintaining open communication as we grow, ensuring that people never feel divided, even if we’re working on different things,” Bas Kohnke, CEO of Impraise, said in an email.

The company also randomly picks two employees each day to be in charge of grocery shopping, and to set up and clean up. “These people are always selected from different teams and include everyone from the CEO to the newest intern,” said Kohnke. “It’s a great way to mix it up and make sure people from different parts of the company also have some one-on-one time together.”

Better retention

At GMR Web Team, an internet marketing and reputation-management company in Tustin, California, the entire company has lunch together on Fridays. But the point of the lunch meetings isn’t to talk shop; it’s to improve the relationships among co-workers.

As a result, the company is seeing better employee retention. “Keeping morale high with these team-bonding events not only goes well with employees, but with the company as a whole,” Ajay Prasad, founder and president of GMR Web Team, told me. “People are willing to stay longer because friends are there, too.”

Accessible leaders

As Jellyvision, a Chicago-based tech company that helps people make life decisions, grew over the years, leaders found it more difficult to make employees feel important. If those leaders had not recognized the problem, they could have ruined their relationship with those employees. That’s why, to maintain contact with everyone, Jellyvision created its lunch program.

“Once a month, the leadership team at Jellyvision is paired at random with a group of employees from around the company,” said Bob Armour, CMO. “Coming together for lunch takes down any feeling of corporate barriers that may arise.”

There are no agendas for the lunches, so the conversation can develop naturally. For example, Armour was recently able to get suggestions on where to go during his upcoming trip to Florence.

Appreciated employees

When a team performs admirably and meets its goals, a meal is a great way to celebrate. No matter how large a company is; free food is a great way to show employees they’re appreciated.

This type of meals helps the CEO to recognize employees and help motivate the entire team

Builds up loyalty.

The secret that a CEO will never tell you? We don’t actually want to be the Miranda Priestley of the workplace, feared and tiptoed around by everyone. Bosses do want to be liked by their team members and establish a great rapport which going out for a meal together whether one on one or with an entire department helps to do. With the more shared meals or coffee outings you share with your team, the more trust begins to build up as well as warming up to genuinely liking your higher-up in charge.