3 Pieces of Advice OptionsSwing Inc. Wants to Share With Fellow Fin-Ed Entrepreneurs
Starting any type of business and seeing it grow and survive is hard. Entrepreneurs go into their ventures prepared to see them fail, even though they always have to give their all to stop that from happening. Saying that it’s a gamble would take it too far, but entrepreneurship is nevertheless a risky business.
Still, there are plenty of resources entrepreneurs can use to boost their business’s chances of succeeding. Experiences from their fellow enterprises who have been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale are invaluable.
For entrepreneurs looking to start a financial education company, here are three pieces of advice from the founders of OptionsSwing, the fin-ed company that’s the darling of Instagram users.
It could be argued that there’s never a better time than right now to get started on a substantial project. In this case, however, the “now” refers to an extremely specific time in the history of the world: the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full effects of the pandemic cannot be known while it’s still ongoing. It will probably take years and years after the world brings it under control until anyone will be able to even assess how much damage and suffering this virus has caused.
Some effects, however, are painfully obvious right now. One of them is that people are becoming either unemployed or underemployed. A number of them have been turning to the stock market in the hopes they’ll be able to use it as an additional revenue stream. Starting a digital subscription business at a time like that is great, but so is sharing the knowledge that can help people stay afloat.
Be Proactive With Tech Investments
In many cases, waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it is the best way to deal with challenges. When there are too many unknowns ahead, trying to cover them all can become impossible, impractical, or simply too distracting from whatever’s going on in the here and now.
Investing in expanding one’s problem-solving capacity is a whole different beast, though. Tech is a great example of it; investing in it early on means that entrepreneurs won’t have to scramble for resources when they desperately need them. The tech will be there, allowing them to focus on the problem they’re having.
Tech might be the most obvious example for laying the groundwork for future problem-solving capabilities, but the same advice can be extrapolated further. Investing in any resource that’s especially useful in critical times is a good use of money.
While it’s possible to see many one-person operations in the world of business, when it comes to scaling and growing, “the more, the merrier” is the correct motto. Talent procurement in startups is a big deal because, often enough, the quality of the talent has to compensate for the lack of resources.
Even entrepreneurs who believe in their singular vision and don’t want anyone to meddle with their ideas could use help now and again. Delegating work to other people and believing that they’ll do a good job might prove to be necessary for the business’s survival. At the very least, it will be a great way for the controlling entrepreneurs to learn to relax, better handle the uncertainty of someone else’s work, and build healthier relationships with the people around them. It’s a win on all fronts.
To keep up with OptionsSwing, follow them on Instagram at @optionsswing.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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