advice

entrepreneur tips

Being first is not about an end result,

heather hiles equity entrepreneur

As of 2016 (when Cengage bought Pathbrite), I hold the dubious distinction of having raised the most venture capital of any African American woman founder, and of being the first and only African American woman to have successfully exited a venture-backed company in the United States.

But, being first has not about an end result, it’s always been about my process and practice.

...

I have again and again:

  • Developed an uninterrupted commitment to an idea.
  • Worked on that idea diligently.
  • Remained as equally committed to rest and reflection as I have been to the idea itself.
  • Surrounded myself with creative, empathetic, high-functioning individuals.
  • Developed and maintained a discerning eye, personally and professionally.

But most important, I have never believed I would fail.

Focusing on the act of being first won’t serve you. Very few celebrate the first to fail, or develop a terrible concept, or even a mediocre product.

We celebrate ingenuity, progress, a penchant for the bold and clever. We celebrate greatness.

Greatness is only ever achieved by developing a lifelong practice of making every moment a personal first.

Every moment is the first time in a specific part of your journey, one in which you can choose to excel.

And it is that choosing - that sustained practice of aligning yourself with a purpose, showing up for yourself, working diligently, and editing (your plan, your process, even your circle) fastidiously - that gets you to the finish line, not just quickly, but exceptionally.

To read Heather's full post as a part of LinkedIn's #IWasTheFirst series, CLICK HERE.

 

EXPLORE: Women at Work: Heather Hiles

You’re the one that types the meeting notes, the one that is over-communicating the schedule, the one that goes and takes the meeting with the person no one else wants to meet with,” he said of his early work in the field. “You’re just doing a lot of grunt work to make things run smoother.

And do it well.

Buzzfeed.com »  The Silent Partner

In a few words, what I do. (via krysfree)

Sustainable Spring 2013   has us redefining our lives in SO MANY ways! 
 We’re trying to get even more efficient around the office … and really looking for  (read: hunting down)   all the tips we can get.  
 Today we wanted to share  NINE THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO DIFFERENTLY.  
 
  1.  Get specific .  When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.   2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers. 
 To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take , in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%. 
  3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.   4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.   5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get  the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills. 
 Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination. 
 
 For the other 4 things:   CLICK HERE.

Sustainable Spring 2013 has us redefining our lives in SO MANY ways!

We’re trying to get even more efficient around the office … and really looking for (read: hunting down) all the tips we can get.

Today we wanted to share NINE THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO DIFFERENTLY.

1. Get specificWhen you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment,decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go.Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you canget the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

For the other 4 things: CLICK HERE.

We’re in the upswing of Sustainable Spring 13, so trust us, we GET that spring cleaning’s a lot easier said than done!  We’ve been seeking a little help ourselves these days … so … we thought we’d share a few tips with you!  
 Obsessive- Compulsive’s Guide: Top 12 Organizing Tips, Plus Resources 
 
 Is your life in disarray? Do you have trouble finding things? Do you constantly forget stuff? If so, don’t worry — you’re like most of the human population. 
 Disorganization is a natural state of order. It takes an obsessive-compulsive (like myself) to get the chaos of the universe into some form of organization. 
 If you have a desire to get organized, here are my favorite organization tips … stuff I’ve learned along the way, from other sources and from experimentation. And a list of some useful articles at the end, for those who need more. :) 
  1. Everything in its place . If you just followed one tip on this list, this would be it. Practice this, and you can skip the rest of the tips and articles listed in this post. Seriously. 
 So how do you do it? It’s simple. For everything that you own, designate a place for it. You can even label some of those places, to make it easier to remember. Find something that doesn’t have a place? Designate a place for it. Then simply put things back where they belong when you’re done using them. It sounds simple, but it actually takes a lot of practice to get this habit down. Read  this article for more .   2. Start small. If your life and your home and your office are all incredibly disorganized, don’t try to conquer all of it at once. Choose a small chunk (maybe the top of your desk, or at least one part of it?) and organize that. Then come up with a simple system to keep it organize, and try to practice that system until it becomes habit. Now expand your “zone of organization” further, to a new area. One chunk at a time, you can get organized. 
  3. Create routines . One of the best ways to keep your life organized is to make routines for everything — for errands, laundry, finances, etc. And if you do this one at a time, and make it a habit, you can optimize your life this way. 
  4. Clean as you go . This is a great habit … instead of having big cleaning binges, clean things as you go. Done using some dishes? Wash them right away. Clean the toilet when you finish using it, so it never gets dirty. Read more . 
  5. All info in one place . Use a text document, a wiki, or some other type of system to keep all the information you regularly use and need in one place. You’ll never look for it again.  Read more  and also see how to  organize your family with a binder . 
 
  READ MORE HERE ! 
   GET $50 FREE KHAFRA MERCHANDISE HERE!

We’re in the upswing of Sustainable Spring 13, so trust us, we GET that spring cleaning’s a lot easier said than done!  We’ve been seeking a little help ourselves these days … so … we thought we’d share a few tips with you!

Obsessive- Compulsive’s Guide: Top 12 Organizing Tips, Plus Resources

Is your life in disarray? Do you have trouble finding things? Do you constantly forget stuff? If so, don’t worry — you’re like most of the human population.

Disorganization is a natural state of order. It takes an obsessive-compulsive (like myself) to get the chaos of the universe into some form of organization.

If you have a desire to get organized, here are my favorite organization tips … stuff I’ve learned along the way, from other sources and from experimentation. And a list of some useful articles at the end, for those who need more. :)

1. Everything in its place. If you just followed one tip on this list, this would be it. Practice this, and you can skip the rest of the tips and articles listed in this post. Seriously.

So how do you do it? It’s simple. For everything that you own, designate a place for it. You can even label some of those places, to make it easier to remember. Find something that doesn’t have a place? Designate a place for it. Then simply put things back where they belong when you’re done using them. It sounds simple, but it actually takes a lot of practice to get this habit down. Read this article for more.

2. Start small.If your life and your home and your office are all incredibly disorganized, don’t try to conquer all of it at once. Choose a small chunk (maybe the top of your desk, or at least one part of it?) and organize that. Then come up with a simple system to keep it organize, and try to practice that system until it becomes habit. Now expand your “zone of organization” further, to a new area. One chunk at a time, you can get organized.

3. Create routines. One of the best ways to keep your life organized is to make routines for everything — for errands, laundry, finances, etc. And if you do this one at a time, and make it a habit, you canoptimize your lifethis way.

4. Clean as you go. This is a great habit … instead of having big cleaning binges, clean things as you go. Done using some dishes? Wash them right away. Clean the toilet when you finish using it, so it never gets dirty.Read more.

5. All info in one place. Use a text document, a wiki, or some other type of system to keep all the information you regularly use and need in one place. You’ll never look for it again. Read more and also see how to organize your family with a binder.

READ MORE HERE!

GET $50 FREE KHAFRA MERCHANDISE HERE!