The Critic

The Critic by Eric Corl, Review Complaint

In a recent Medium post, I wrote about the climate of entrepreneurship and the very present critic. Access to profiteer websites, acting as a soapbox, makes it easier than ever to break a small business. I have seen entrepreneurs sell their companies because they simply don’t want to deal with the peanut gallery anymore.

I wasn’t raised by parents that saw the world in black and white. Learn more about my story here. As an adult, I am grateful for that because I don’t either. I have come to realize that I approach each situation differently because of knowing that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. You do what you can with what you have.

Things need to be accomplished. Period.

There are better and worse ways of doing things. Some that are more and less efficient. Some that heed the results you want and some that don’t. But that’s ok.

Enter the Monday morning quarterback. Defined as: Someone who criticizes others after something has happened by saying that they should have dealt with it differently, although the people involved could not have known what would happen.

Proudly standing on their soapbox, the critic plays Monday morning quarterback. Why should their opinion hold any weight? It shouldn’t. They weren’t there during your past lessons and they won’t be there to help you in the future…

Being an entrepreneur takes MORE. More mental, physical, emotional, financial and every other ‘-ial‘ than 99% of the population is willing to give. Thinking outside of the proverbial box is what got you to entrepreneurship in the first place. When you are paving the way for something new and never seen before, not even you know what lies ahead. And certainly not the critic.

No one, and I truly mean NO ONE, knows the journey you’ve been on with your business. Simply because they haven’t built what you have. They haven’t learned the most important things that you have… what doesn’t work.

The errors, inefficiencies, lack of results and self-admitted mistakes… they hurt. But they are YOURS.

Drown out the critics and keep cranking.

10 Tips to Reduce Burnout

Burnout is a real and extinguishing force you can face as a high performer. As a veteran entrepreneur, it's something I've dealt with a few times in my career. Here are ten ways you can dramatically reduce your chances of burnout and will help you get back to "normal" quickly if you're currently in the burnout lull.

  1. Exercise - Exercising is one of the most powerful ways to prevent and overcome burnout. The downside? You usually don't feel like doing it when you're in the burnout lull. Start by signing up for a gym membership and getting an accountability partner. Any exercise is better than none, and while a rigorous workout is best, even a 20 minute walk a day can help you beat burnout.

  2. Drink Lots of Water - Our bodies are made up of more than 70% water. If you're tired, hydration is more than likely one of the factors at play. The first thing you drink when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed should be a large glass of water.

  3. Practice Gratitude - Ideally during exercise, go through your mind about all of the things you are grateful for. Having a hard time? Start with the fact that you're alive. That you can see, feel, touch, etc. It is amazingly effective and has been shown to have tremendous psychological benefits.

  4. Socialize - The last thing you should do when you are facing or in burnout is to isolate. It's not a mentally healthy path. Socializing can boost your physical, mental, and emotional health. Restricted by your location to visit with family and friends? Pick up the phone or facetime at least once a day to build your relationships. It will boost your life and those you connect with.

  5. Practice Mindfulness - Take small breaks throughout the day to be mindful of how you are feeling. It's being fully conscious of how you are feeling mentally and physically, and not just letting the day run you. Many people use this as a form of therapy. For some, this is saying a prayer. For others, it's quietly thinking while walking.

  6. Create a Consistent Schedule - Often times when I talk to high performers who face burnout, their schedules involve late nights and inconsistent schedules. Get a schedule that consistently works for you. Create small consistencies to give your day shape and structure. It can be as simple as the first few things you do in the day such as getting coffee, reading, and exercising. It will help create a foundation for you to build from and provide consistency in the midst of chaos.

  7. Get 8 Hours of Sleep - Sleep is critical to how our bodies and minds function over the long run. Yes, there are people that can sleep only 4 hours a night. Unless you are fully optimized both mentally and physically, it's a recipe for disaster. Sleep deficiency can lead to a host of mental and physical issues in the long run.

  8. Eat Well - We put premium gasoline in our cars to help them run their best and increase longevity, yet we often settle for less than premium fuel in our bodies. Eat clean, healthy foods, and you'll see a boost in your mental and physical performance.

  9. Take Time to Rest - Working 7 days a week for 18 hour days can only last so long. Take time to rest at least one day a week. On your off day/s, try to spend time with friends and family, and doing something you thoroughly enjoy. It lets your mental tank refuel.

  10. Believe In Yourself - Work on building belief in yourself. That way, even when you face obstacles, you'll have the confidence that you'll be able to get through it. Challenges, burnout, and life events are bound to happen. How you react to it is what matters, and you have within you the power to get through it and past it.

Eric Corl is a business owner and nationally recognized entrepreneur based out of Columbus, Ohio.

 

Dream Big

Dream Big. Start Small. Act Now. @ericcorl Eric Corl /in/ericcorl www.ericcorl.com

A quote from Robin Sharma goes, "Dream Big. Start Small. Act Now". It is powerful in that an idea is worthless without execution and it all starts with action.

Have an idea? Dream big. Think about the big picture. What it could be. This will fuel your passion and energy. Then, immediately think about the small things you can begin doing now to put that dream into action.

Now, get going. Buy the domain. Make a prototype. Get going......

Too many people focus too long on the big things and not on the small things. The every day small things that move things forward. The base hits. Start with the base hits.

Robots are Here

Coffee Robot in Austin, Texas Eric Corl Traveling

Yes, that's a robotic coffee machine that will prepare any coffee you want from a Cafe Mocha to a caramel machiatto.

Robots are here and will begin changing lives than most people anticipate. Over the next ten years it will disrupt industries across the board, changing everything from coffee to lawn care.

Robot News

Over the past 7 days, there have been some large announcements on robots making their way into major supply chains.

For example, Amazon announced on their drones will begin making home deliveries "within months" here.

Boston Dynamics announced that it will soon be offering it's first commercial robot for sale, named spot. Click here to review the article with images and pictures of the robot here.

Over the past year, Honda has launched a robotic lawn mower (watch out lawn service companies) named Miimo.

Robots are here and they are going to begin changing everything.

 

Jobs Impacted by Robots

CNBC reported that 25% of US Jobs are at risk to automation.

Visual Capitalist created this nice chart showing jobs that are at highest risk.

VIsiual Capitalist Robot Chart Eric Corl EricCorl.com

Worldwide work forces must develop new skills to stay ahead of the curve. Positions that require creative thinking, and interpersonal skills are harder to replace than those focused around repetitive tasks.

As robotics and automation continue to improve, even the most complex of tasks will begin being automated with AI.

10,000 Reasons Not to Start a Business

There are about 10,000 reasons not to start a business, so don’t, unless why you want to is important enough to you to do it anyway.

It’s my belief that if you read through this and are dissuaded, you should not start a business. Starting a business is not an easy endeavor. Making it successful is harder. Keeping it successful is even more difficult. It’s those that want to push forward despite all of that who have a much better chance of making it.

So, 10,000 reasons not to start a business, you say? Yes.

You’ll deal with hiring mistakes, having to fire good people, people irrationally upset, regulations, lawsuits, and more. If you’re in business long enough, you’ll see it all and that’s after you “make it”.

Prior to that, you’ll have to go through the hurdles and obstacles that face every entrepreneur. Product/Tech/Service development and market testing. Legal preparation. Making sure you are properly insured. Getting your first customers to purchase. Collecting your payments and receivables. Managing your cash flow. Iterating product changes based on customer feedback. Delays. Sweat. Heart Palpitations.

You must want it, you have to be willing to bust your ass to make it happen. You will have to be resourceful, persistent, and resilient.

If you have an external locus of control – the tendency to blame others for issues, throw in the towel now. You’ll have enough of that to deal with that if you’re that way it’s not even worth getting started.

If you have an internal locus of control – the tendency to think of what you could have done differently and learn from mistakes, you’ve got a leg up.

It will take longer. It will be harder.

You won’t make money as quickly as you think. It will be harder than you think it will be and you will face more challenges than you could have imagined. In fact, according to Inc.com, only 4 out of 100 businesses survive past 10 years.

If you understand all of that and can still push forward with a smile on your face, then starting a business might just be for you.

Brain Food for Entrepreneurs – SoundCloud

SoundCloud Eric Corl

I’ve started compiling a list of SoundCloud content for aspiring entrepreneurs here – https://soundcloud.com/eric-corl

When you’re first considering entrepreneurship, it’s critical that you absorb as much wisdom from great entrepreneurs as you can. It will help you to get your mindset right, learn the lingo, and most importantly – learn from their mistakes.

Entrepreneurship is one of the most rewarding yet challenging endeavors one can start. If you can learn from those who have been where you want to go, you can dramatically compress time. (And you can find lessons from my mistakes here on my blog.)

Podcasts have made it possible to quickly inhale information. Even if you are not intently listening, you will pick up on some points and that’s better than nothing. I prefer podcasts that are keeping up with entrepreneurs. It helps me stay current with my clients and the potential struggles they may face. There’s even a podcast on SoundCloud called ‘The Failing Entrepreneur’.

Check out my playlist here and let me know your thoughts (it’s a work in progress). If you have a suggestion to add to the list, send it my way!

Eric Corl is a Columbus, Ohio based entrepreneur. Corl works with startups to prepare for the launch of their company. A founder of several companies and investor in many, Corl enjoys coaching small businesses through the struggles of starting and growing a business.

For inquiries on having Corl involved with your business, contact him at ericcorl@gmail.com.

The Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus

Hi, I’m Eric Corl. I’m an entrepreneur based in Columbus, OH.
Connect with Me:
Eric Corl on Twitter
Eric Corl on LinkedIN
Eric Corl on Quora

Very happy to see the launch of the Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus by Senators Tim Scott and Amy Klobuchar. It is extremely important that there is a deliberate focus on Entrepreneurship in the Senate. I applaud the SBE Council’s efforts to keep this as a top discussion in Washington, DC and I am excited to see it yield results.

All too often – in politics – the impact of legislation on small businesses and entrepreneurs is an afterthought versus a focus.

Entrepreneurs are the economic engine that drive our economy forward. They must be supported and advocated for in Washington, DC. While there is mixed data, some studies actually show a long term trend of declining startup activity in the United States. Long term, entrepreneurship needs to remain a focus – I would argue that it is critical. Here is some interesting data and thoughts on it.

Data on the State of Entrepreneurship:
Infographic: Millennial Entrepreneurs and the State of Entrepreneurship
Kaufmann Indicators of Entrepreneurship

Economic Benefits of Entrepreneurship:

Business Formation by State – We need to encourage entrepreneurship nationwide.

We need to encourage more female entrepreneurship and support education/programs to encourage startups. Efforts are showing progress but need to be accelerated.

The Top 20 Global Cities for VC Investment:

Small Business Stats from Small Business Trends

This is a working draft. I will continue to update and refine this article. Please feel free to make suggestions on the content in this article. Thank you, Eric Corl.

Five Life Tips for Entrepreneurs

Here are five life tips for entrepreneurs that I like to share with new small business owners.

  1. Always provide value for value. If you get a great intro, repay the favor with an intro of your own, etc. The more value you provide to others, the more you’ll get in return in aggregate.
  2. Avoid people with external locusts of control. These are people that always blame other circumstances on their failures. This filter alone will save you a tremendous amount of heartache both personally and professionally.
  3. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs you want to be like. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. With audio books, and plenty of online content, you can have lunch with the most successful people in the world, everyday.
  4. Don’t let others judgement of you dissuade you. No matter what you do in life, you will have haters. The more you do, the more that is true. You’ll have unhappy customers, you’ll have people who gossip about you. Everyone does. If you don’t, it’s likely because no one knows who you are. The best steak restaurants in the world have people who complain about the steak after they’ve eaten 90% of it. Plan on 2-3% of people hating you and be OKAY with that. You don’t want to do business with those people anyway. Focus on your fans, on your tribe.
  5. Give it your all. Once you set your sights on your path, give it absolutely everything you have. Hard work compresses time – getting you from where you are to where you want to be in a shorter amount of time. Hard work is what will set you apart from everyone else because while most people are willing to sprint, few are willing to run the marathon.

Eric Corl

Why I Became an Entrepreneur

I grew up in an a family business. My dad was an entrepreneur and my mom supported him through each step. That meant learning how business worked at a young age. It is a topic of family discussion at the dinner table. When the business is growing, it’s a part of your weekends. It’s your summer job. It becomes ingrained in you. These are the roots of my entrepreneurial journey.

For five years , I worked as much as I could for my family’s business and mowed 3-4 yards per week, essentially running a micro business and cutting my teeth with pricing, recurring contracts, and customer satisfaction.

However, when I was 16 years old, I was on a fast track to becoming a doctor. I had straight A’s, I had been fascinated by medicine from a young age. I had scoped out the colleges I wanted to go to, and dreamed of being an orthopedic surgeon. That was, until I started meeting several who were not happy, were not fulfilled, and were all getting into business ventures.

Around that time, that I received my first copy of the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The book changed my mindset. I stopped thinking about the impact I could make as an individual and started thinking about creating an impact with systems.

It’s my belief that entrepreneurship is the Archimedes lever. Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to achieve more than you would ever be able to as an individual.

It was that realization that put me on my path to filing my first LLC at 18 years old prior to going to Ohio State University where I would get into the world of startups.