A roundup of the best tips of the week from Entrepreneur.com.
For most entrepreneurs, the life of a business owner involves plenty of struggle. While tough times are often seen as something to downplay, Steven Snyder, author of Leadership and the Art of Struggle, says we should talk about difficulties more. "Struggle and leadership are intertwined," he says. "Challenges create the opportunity for leadership growth."
Top entrepreneurs look for ways to innovate around obstacles, looking at each challenge as an opportunity for positive change. By staying focused on your end goal, you can let go of any specific way of getting there, opening your mind to other possibilities. "That adaptive energy unleashes our greatest potential," Snyder says. Sometimes necessity is the mother of reinvention. More: How to Thrive During Tough Times
Secure your network.
Cyber attacks can be costly, even fatal for businesses. There are several steps you should take to protect yourself; one crucial action is to secure your wireless network. Update it to the latest encryption standard, disable the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on your router (to hide your network from prying eyes) and create a complicated password that will be hard to crack. Better yet, do without a Wi-Fi network entirely, if you can manage with hardline connections alone. More: How to Protect Your Small Business Against a Cyber Attack
Reward your employees in ways that matter.
There's nothing quite like the disappointment of receiving a generic gift card as a reward for your hard work. As a manager, you should reward your employees but reward them in a way that matters to them. For some, this might mean flex time; for others, a lunch out with the boss. The key is to put thought into your thanks and make employees feel valued as individuals. More: The 3 Leadership Behaviors That Make Your Employees Feel Fulfilled
Telecommuting can prevent collaboration.
Startups live and die by the sweat equity and team spirit of their employees, which means telecommuting can be problematic. If your business is in a crucial phase, you should think long and hard before allowing regular telecommuting. "As the owner of an IT company, I worry about what three guys in a garage somewhere might develop. I'm not worried about what three guys in three separate garages might do," says Nick Balletta, chief executive of TalkPoint, a New York-based webcasting company. "There's no substitute for what can happen when you get people in a room together." More: 4 Reasons Telecommuting Can Be Bad for Business
Put yourself into 'sleep' mode once in a while.
As an entrepreneur, you don't get to clock out of work like employees of established companies do, but it's still important to turn off once in a while and have a social life. Serial entrepreneur Adam Toren offers the example of a basketball player practicing free throws. A little extra practice over time could put him head and shoulders above his teammates, but too much practice -- when he's overtired, distracted and not able to maintain proper form -- will be counterproductive. Working around the clock could mean you're [doing your business a disservice]. More: How to Have a Social Life as a Young Trep