Whether you are a small businesses owner or someone who wants to up in the corporate ladder it is important to stay current. You can always try and follow If you don’t like it don’t do it This is one of the five guidelines recommended by Richard Branson. It might actually seem harder than it really is. We always think that we have no choice, but in reality, we have a lot more freedom than we let ourselves think. If you are a small business owner you have the right to choose in which direction you want to lead your business. The same goes for a corporate employee or even a CEO; you are always more likely to be productive and efficient when given a chance to choose the sector or a niche you are most comfortable in. It is important to get rid of any fear that you might feel and to have the ability to change your career direction if and when you start feeling stuck, drained or dissatisfied. The mistake that many people make is believing that they will prove how good they are if they actually do the things that they don’t like but do them well. This puts them in a vicious circle of limited productivity and inability to move forward. People who are successful have understood at the very beginning that your productivity, energy and creativity is much higher if you are doing something you love. Following basic logic we can conclude that doing something you dislike or even hate, does not compare to the results that you could achieve if you were focusing your energy and motivation on something that actually means something to you. Leading by listening This type of advice can be considered quite general, but in fact, is one of those things that can always be subjected to personalization and adaptation. There are two types of feedback that are important, one from your staff and the other from your customers. One of the biggest mistakes that professionals tend to make is that they listen only to the second one. The feedback that you get from your employees, colleagues or team members is equally important if not more so. The ability to view a certain problem from several different angles is one of the key traits of a successful business person. And being open and actually taking the time to listen can be the key factor for your future success. There are two types of feedback that are important, one from your staff and the other from your customers. One of the biggest mistakes that professionals tend to make is that they listen only to the second one. The feedback that you get from your employees, colleagues or team members is equally important if not more so. The ability to view a certain problem from several different angles is one of the key traits of a successful business person. And being open and actually taking the time to listen can be the key factor for your future success. The ability to view a certain problem from several different angles is one of the key traits of a successful business person. And being open and actually taking the time to listen can be the key factor for your future success. One of the options is to become a mentor to the people around you; this way you will be able to create a safe environment for people to approach you and share their ideas and thoughts. The first step in becoming a mentor is actually setting the stage, and encouraging your employees or your colleagues to approach you with their ideas and suggestions. Interaction between senior and junior staffers has been proven to produce great results while at the same time improving the company dynamic. Avoid giving a presentation and just have a conversation We all love using technology at the workplace. It saves time and energy and you are able to present your ideas in a clear and colorful way. But there are several drawbacks to using things like PowerPoint presentations to present an idea or a project. First of all, people tend to focus on the image and text on the slide and not listen to what you are actually saying. Another common mistake is the information overload that people tend to experience when it comes to presentation slides. This makes it hard to stay focused and follow the whole idea from start to finish. Conversation is a great substitute, although to some it might seem like a step back. Actually explaining your ideas, and plans, using energy and emotion can be an amazing experience. This type of presentation actually engages others to participate, pitch in and offer constructive feedback. A well-structured oral presentation using just a note sheet can have a much greater impact than a carefully crafted digital presentation. In the end, if you feel that you weren’t able to provide sufficient information, you can always email the data as a .ppt file. Conclusions The ideas presented in this article are not so new, successful businessmen have been applying them for a very long time. What makes them relevant is the fact that professionals on the lower levels are still avoiding them and sticking to the same old patterns and rules, thus slowing down their personal progress. If you want to be successful at your job and to thrive, leaving the old practices behind is the first and most important step, but also the hardest one. However cliche it might sound, we are the creators of our own path, be it in life or business and the decisions we make and the steps we take can define our future. So however hard you may think it is to achieve, doing the work you love, surrounded by people that you can communicate with makes an unbelievable difference in terms of time needed for reaching the goals we have set for ourselves. 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