Cultivating Resilience and Other Tips This Week
A roundup of the best tips of the week from Entrepreneur.com.
The ability to persevere through failure is one of the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur. But our brains make it hard to push past disappointments. "People tend to have a cognitive bias toward their failures, and toward negativity," says positive psychologist Matthew Della Porta. As an entrepreneur, you'll have to work consciously to balance out your natural cognitive bias toward negativity.
When you experience failure, don't dwell on it. If you do, you'll be more likely to internalize a negative self-image. Instead you should frame the experience in a way that allows you to move forward. "At first, [this strategy will] be hard and you'll think it doesn't work," Della Porta says. "But over time, it'll become automatic and negative thoughts will be less likely to come up. No one does this naturally; you have to learn and practice." More: How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive
Ask yourself what your product replaces in the market.
When testing an idea for a new product, ask yourself: "What am I replacing?" This means not only considering existing products that are similar to yours, but also consumer spending habits that you could influence in favor of your product. Don't worry if the answer to this question leads you to change your seemingly stellar idea. "What you start with is rarely what you end up with," says Andre Marquis, Executive Director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of California, Berkeley. More: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Testing a Business Idea
Don't say "yes" to every opportunity.
Entrepreneurs are eager beavers, and the desire to make the most of their time can lead to them chasing every opportunity and saying "yes" to everything. But long-term success requires maintaining focus on primary goals, writes Lewis Howes, a social-media expert and entrepreneurship consultant. "Remember, saying 'no' can be a best practice for successful startups," Howes advises. More: Critical Lessons From 5 Common Startup Mistakes
Give yourself regular quiet time.
Total concentration can happen only in the absence of interruptions. In order to generate ideas and be highly productive, you should take regular quiet time so that you can hear yourself think. Whether you choose to work from home, or turn off your phone the goal is to eliminate distractions -- at least for a while. "Otherwise, you're like a marionette that’s being pulled by strings," says Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. "You have to cut the strings to feel good." More: How to Achieve a State of Total Concentration
To get your app approved, think design.
Don't worry about rushing to try to get your app into the Apple App Store or Google Play. The stores are chock-full of apps already, and if yours doesn't add much to the stable of existing options, it may not be approved. An eye-catching design and compelling functionality are surefire ways to show value. "Focus on delighting people and making your product usable," says Prasant Vargese, a New York City-based IT analyst. "Fancy animations and graphics are fun, but if they serve no purpose, eliminate them." More: The Basics: 3 Important Tips for Creating Killer Mobile Apps
Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.