10 Success-Boosting Motivation Tips From Millionaire Entrepreneurs

Motivation is a daily struggle for entrepreneurs, so I’ve put together these motivation-boosting tips from 10 of today’s successful entrepreneurs.

1. Fear of failure.

In an article that he wrote for Bloomberg, Mark Cuban stated that he uses the fear of failure for self-motivation.

“No matter what business you’re in, you’re always at risk — particularly in technology, where it changes so rapidly you’ve got to put in the effort to keep up,” writes the Shark Tank panel member. “There’s always the opportunity for some 18-year-old to come out of nowhere and crush you—that motivates the hell out of me.”

“Every one of my companies, whether something I started or something I invested in, is a scoreboard. How am I doing? A lot of investors or advisers play it as a numbers game.”

“If they invest in 20 companies, as long as one success covers 19 losses, they did OK. I look at every loss as a huge failure. I had an investment go bad recently. I lost $1.5 million on it. It pisses me off to no end.”

Failed at something? Ask these Mark Cuban questions.

“You can also use it as motivation. What did I do wrong? Who did I trust that I shouldn’t trust? What can I learn from this situation so I can avoid it next time?”

2. Do what you’re passionate for.

This is the key. However, as Chalmers Brown, co-founder and CTO of Due writes, “We want to not only make a lot of money but enjoy what we do as well. We are willing to take on the risk of unstable pay in exchange for following our dreams.”

“Unfortunately, your dream job may not always be the best decision financially. Sometimes your hobbies are best kept as projects in your spare time for fun (which is great!). If you do want to try to turn your passion into a full-time job, these tips can help you get started the right way.”

3. Keep affirmations where you can see them.

“It’s so easy as an entrepreneur to get sucked into feeling exhausted or frustrated, and often the blame is yours alone,” writes Murray Newlands, founder of online invoicing company Sighted. “But a negative mindset sucks up mental bandwidth and energy that you need to stay focused and successful.

“It is crucial to maintain an optimistic attitude in the face of setbacks. Whenever you see a quote or a picture that helps you stay positive, place it front and center so you can remember what this journey is all about.”

4. Leverage the power of rejection.

“On June 26, 2008, our friend Michael Seibel introduced us to seven prominent investors in Silicon Valley. We were attempting to raise $150,000 at a $1.5M valuation. That means for $150,000 you could have bought 10 percent of Airbnb.”

“Below you will see five rejections. The other two did not reply,” writes Airbnb Co-Founder Brian Chesky on Medium. “The investors that rejected us were smart people, and I am sure we didn’t look very impressive at the time.”

Today Airbnb is valued at just under $30 billion.

5. Surround yourself with highly successful and motivated people.

“No one does it alone,” said Mark Zuckerberg during a Q&A in 2016. “When you look at most big things that get done in the world, they’re not done by one person, so you’re going to need to build a team.”

When building your All-Star team, seek out people who excel in the areas where you’re not strong or have less experience. “You’re going to need people that have complementary skills,” Zuckerberg emphasized. “No matter how talented you are, there are just going to be things that you don’t bring to the table.”

6. Never feel sorry yourself.

“All of my best successes came on the heels of a failure, so I’ve learned to look at each belly flop as the beginning of something good,” said Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on Shark Tank.

“If you just hang in there, you’ll find that something is right around the corner. It’s that belief that keeps me motivated. I’ve learned not to feel sorry for myself, ever. Just five minutes of feeling sorry for yourself takes your power away and makes you unable to see the next opportunity.”

7. Look for inspiration.

Inspiration is a driving force that you can use to motivate you. Lyft Co-Founder Jordan Zimmerman said that, “Right now, my daughter is a huge inspiration. Thinking about the future of our cities, the world and what environment she’s going to grow up in.”

“Also, the driver and passenger stories we hear every day. In a past team meeting, we had a mother come in and tell the story herself. She is a Lyft driver living in New York and her daughter is in Los Angeles.

“The daughter was going through a rough living situation with a roommate and had to leave and move into a new place. The mother called a Lyft for her daughter, had a quick conversation with the driver and the driver took care of her daughter in this tough situation.”

“These stories inspire us to think how we can make things more efficient and create a platform for two people to have a really positive interaction?”

8. Don’t obsess over your vision.

Yes. Think about your vision. But don’t spend too much time over it or it will bog you down. Elon Musk, for example, only spends around 30 minutes a week on his vision of SpaceX colonizing Mars. Besides those 30 minutes, Musk spends a majority of his time focused on the milestones that are the most immediate and critical.

9. Be grateful.

“Most of the time when people ask me about motivation, 80 percent of the time I attribute it to gratitude. If you want real fuel to win, be grateful,” writes Gary Vaynerchuk.

“Gratitude is what has gotten me through my toughest moments in business. Whenever I have lost a deal to a competitor, or an incredible employee, or millions of dollars in revenue, I default to gratitude. It’s impossible not to stay motivated or get too down when you’re feeling grateful.”

10. Forget about motivation.

“So many people wait to feel ‘motivated’ before they do anything. Here’s a newsflash: happy productive people do not wait for motivation, they just get on with it,” said Marie Forleo.

Briony Clarke becomes the UK’s youngest female judge at age 31

A solicitor who joined her local law firm as a 15-year-old work experience intern has become the youngest ever female judge.

Briony Clarke was sworn in as a deputy district judge after 16 years at Essex firm Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP (THB).

The 31-year-old took her judicial oaths this week, the day before International Women’s Day, in front of Chelmsford Crown Court resident judge Charles Gratwicke.

“It’s nice to have someone from our own community, embarking on the same career that we have all, at some stage, had to launch ourselves into,” said Mr Gratwicke.

Ms Clarke will not hit compulsory retirement age until January 2056.

“It’s a long time,” he said. “It just goes to show how young you are and how long a career you have.

“Many congratulations. Enjoy it.”

Global megatrends are global opportunities for accounting profession

There’s been a lot of talk about “megatrends”, some of which are addressed in a recent OECD report.

It is clear that trends such as big data and artificial intelligence play into the future way in which we live and work. Depending on your perspective, these trends can be threats or opportunities.

With the right lens, they can be disruptors and enablers.  Embracing these trends is key to the future of our profession.

Technology and innovation allows for different and better ways of working, from simply collaborating, to being part of the bigger, broader contribution to global changes.

Big data and artificial intelligence for example, have enormous significance on changing the social and economic infrastructure of our global construct.

They also have a compounding effect on our profession broadly and individually, as we consider our roles as leaders in business and accounting.

The OECD report provides us with the most comprehensive insights yet.

These megatrends are catalysts in dramatically changing professions and the nature of work.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016 predicts that by 2030 “emerging economies are expected to contribute two-thirds of global growth and will be the main destinations of world trade”.

Innovation and technology are driving steep changes to workplaces across the world.

Be prepared

Accounting is no exception – it’s a profession that’s being influenced and shaped by a number of megatrends.

As a professional member organisation it’s our responsibility to prepare for these challenges and embrace these opportunities.

Globalisation is well in play across the membership sector. And the accounting and professional services is consolidating its approach and evolving to remain relevant to its diverse, increasingly tech-savvy member base.

The past 10 years in accounting has seen a number of mergers or partnerships between organisations, providing members with mutually recognised qualifications.

There are other more recent megatrends too.

Rapid advances in technology have led to the proliferation of huge industries in data, artificial intelligence and analytics.

The application of these technologies presents significant opportunities for our profession to leverage, as accountants continue to strengthen and leverage their vital roles to support the ever-changing needs of businesses and the communities in which they work.

Accountants will continue to provide the financial and technical rigor to enable the freedom of innovation and ideas, so integral to global growth.

Data analysis tools are already helping chartered accountants provide richer insights for their clients, while delivering greater efficiencies.

Accountants – from sole practitioners to those in big six firms – are all benefiting from the technology, freeing up these professionals in practice to spend more time providing strategic advice to their clients.

New opportunities

Artificial intelligence for those who choose to embrace it, will enable the provision of economic and strategic insights to businesses, which in turn allows for a greater role in global business growth.

New markets and new and emerging economies will likely see the profession become more diverse.

What will this mean for the future of the profession? What will a “future” accountant look like in this world? Will this mean more or less regional sole practitioners? Do skills diversify further – with the old “bean counter” image giving rise to commercially astute, practitioners with immediate business relevance from day one and graduation?

And what skills and experiences will be required to reflect the changing business profile, as we embrace more start-ups and move to borderless commercial entities?

It will most certainly change the way we currently work. The role of the accountant is society will certainly need to adapt to reflect the impact of these “enabler trends”.

Embracing these trends enables a richer contribution from the accounting profession, at both an economic and social level.

It’s a pivotal time for the profession. Megatrends bring mega opportunities.

Canada’s audit regulator releases report on Big Four accounting firms

Significant inspection findings lower in 2017; CPAB views longer term consistency through a quality systems lens.

In its public report on the 2017 inspections of Canada’s four largest accounting firms (Big Four ― Deloitte LLP, EY LLP, KPMG LLP, PwC LLP) released today, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) reported a reduction in inspection findings across the four firms in 2017 compared to last year. It inspected 86 (2016:87) audit engagement files – six of those files had significant findings compared to 11 files in 2016 and 24 files out of 93 in 2015.

“While each Big Four firm demonstrated an acceptable level of inspection findings overall, CPAB continued to find exceptions where they are still not executing consistently across the organization,” said Brian Hunt, CEO, CPAB. “The need to fully embed audit approach improvements into every practice and every engagement still requires more attention.”

For the four firms, the majority of inspection findings related to significant accounting estimates, executing audit fundamentals, and professional judgment and skepticism. A significant inspection finding is defined as a deficiency in the application of generally accepted auditing standards that could result in a restatement. There are two restatements to date.

To better identify and understand impediments to improving firm quality systems and consistency in how audits are performed, CPAB will evolve its inspection approach in 2018 to incorporate additional operational reviews of the effectiveness of firm structure, accountabilities, quality processes, and culture.  The new approach will launch in the 2018 inspection cycle beginning in March 2018 at the Big Four firms. CPAB expects to apply the new model to the 10 other annually inspected firms in 2019 or beyond.

The Big Four firms share significant inspection findings and CPAB’s public reports with their clients’ audit committees.  CPAB strongly encourages audit committees to discuss the public report and any file-specific findings, if applicable, with their auditor.

CPAB’s 2017 Big Four Report is available at www.cpab-ccrc.ca.

About CPAB

The Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) is Canada’s audit regulator responsible for the regulation of public accounting firms that audit Canadian reporting issuers. CPAB operates independently from the provincial regulatory authorities who oversee the accounting profession.  A world-class audit regulator, CPAB contributes to public confidence in the integrity of financial reporting, which supports Canada’s capital markets.  CPAB operates from offices in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Should mind reading technology be used in court?

A man is charged with stealing a very distinctive blue diamond. The man claims never to have seen the diamond before. An expert is called to testify whether the brain responses exhibited by this man indicate he has seen the diamond before. The question is – should this information be used in court?

Courts are reluctant to admit evidence where there is considerable debate over the interpretation of scientific findings. But a recent study from researchers in the US has noted that the accuracy of such “mind reading” technology is improving.

There are various methods of detecting false statements or concealed knowledge, which vary greatly. For example, traditional “lie detection” relies on measuring physiological reactions such as heart rate, blood pressure, pupil dilation and skin sweat response to direct questions, such as “did you kill your wife?” Alternatively, a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach uses brain scans to identify a brain signature for lying.

However, the technology considered by the US researchers, known as “brain fingerprinting”, “guilty knowledge tests” or “concealed information tests”, differs from standard lie detection because it claims to reveal the fingerprint of knowledge stored in the brain. For example, in the case of the hypothetical blue diamond, knowledge of what type of diamond was stolen, where it was stolen, and what type of tools were used to effect the theft.

This technique gathers electrical signals within the brain through the scalp by electroencephalography (EEG), signals which indicate brain responses. Known as the P300 signal, those responses to questions or visual stimuli are assessed for signs that the individual recognises certain pieces of information. The process includes some questions that are neutral in content and used as controls, while others probe for knowledge of facts related to the offence.

The P300 response typically occurs some 300 to 800 milliseconds after the stimulus, and it is said that those tested will react to the stimulus before they are able to conceal their response. If the probes sufficiently narrow the focus to knowledge that only the perpetrator of the crime could possess, then the test is said to be “accurate” in revealing this concealed knowledge. Proponents of the use of this technology argue that this gives much stronger evidence than is possible to get through human assessment.

Assuming this technology might be capable of showing that someone has hidden knowledge of events relevant to a crime, should we be concerned about its use?

Potential for prejudice

Evidence of this sort has not yet been accepted by the English courts, and possibly never will be. But similar evidence has been admitted in other jurisdictions, including India.

In the Indian case of Aditi Sharma, the court heard evidence that her brain responses implicated her in her former fiancé’s murder. After investigators read statements related and unrelated to the offence, they claimed her responses indicated experiential knowledge of planning to poison him with arsenic, and of buying arsenic with which to carry out the murder. The case generated much discussion, and while she was initially convicted, this was later overturned.

However, the Indian Supreme Court has not ruled out the possibility of such evidence being used if the person being tested freely consents. We should not forget that people may knowingly conceal knowledge of facts relevant to a crime for all sorts of reasons, such as protecting other people or hiding illicit relationships. These reasons for hiding knowledge may have nothing to do with the crime. You could have knowledge relevant to a crime but be totally innocent of that crime. The test is for knowledge, not for guilt.

Context is key

The US researchers looked at whether brain-based evidence might unduly influence juries and prejudice the fair outcome of trials. They found the concerns that neuroscientific evidence may adversely influence trials could be overstated. In their experiment, mock jurors were influenced by the existence of brain based evidence, whether it indicated guilty knowledge or the absence of it. But the strength of other evidence, such as motive or opportunity, weighed more heavily in the hypothetical jurors’ minds.

This is not surprising, as our case-based research demonstrates the importance of the context in which neuroscientific evidence is introduced in court. It could help support a case, but the success is dependent on the strength of all the evidence combined. In no case was the use of neuroscientific evidence alone determinative of the outcome, though in several it was highly significant.

Memory detection technologies are improving, but even if they are “accurate” (however we choose to define that term) it does not automatically mean they will or should be allowed in court. Society, legislators and the courts are going to have to decide whether our memories should be allowed to remain private or whether the needs of justice trump privacy considerations. Our innermost thoughts have always been viewed as private; are we ready to surrender them to law enforcement agencies?

A View from the Top: Janet Cooper OBE, founder of Tapestry Compliance LLP

At Tapestry, a law firm based in Yorkshire, 75 per cent of staff and 85 per cent of senior staff are female.

Janet Cooper was into flexible working long before it was fashionable. She joined Linklaters, a leading law firm headquartered in London, as a trainee lawyer in 1984 and made partner in 1991, in the shortest time possible. A couple of years later, she faced losing one of her best lawyers because the woman in question was about to have her second child at the same time as her husband was relocated away from London.

“She was going to leave to get a job locally, but we made it work so that she could work flexibly,” Cooper says. “She’s actually still at Linklaters, which shows the power of working this way.”

Flexible working became the heart of Cooper’s philosophy when she set up her own firm called Tapestry Compliance with Bob Grayson, a former in-house counsel of Shell, in 2011. Tapestry has just been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the highest award for British businesses, for its significant growth in overseas sales of some of the world’s biggest companies. Cooper herself was awarded an OBE in the New Years’ Honours list for services to equality, women’s empowerment and employee share ownership.

While London has long laid claim to the country’s best law firms, Tapestry, which is based in Yorkshire, bucks the trend. Two offices in Sheffield and Leeds have hoovered up top staff from magic circle firms looking to live outside the capital.

Cooper says she wanted to start a firm in the north of England because of her own experience as a trainee lawyer. “Back in the day to get a good job in corporate law you had to go to London. So I went down to Linklaters,” she remembers. “I had to leave all my lovely family and friends to get the job. These days with technology you don’t have to. So my goal was to create jobs in Yorkshire so people didn’t need to leave.”

Born in Warrington, but brought up near Huddersfield, Cooper never expected to become a lawyer. Her mother managed a coffee shop in Huddersfield and her father managed a steel mill. She left school at 16 and did A-levels and an OND in business studies at c before joining Rowntree Mackintosh, the sweet company, as a secretary in Halifax.

It was at college that a teacher called Bernard Atha, a former Lord Mayor of Leeds known for supporting minorities and those with disabilities, encouraged her to pursue law. Atha helped her find a suitable university and they landed on Leeds. Cooper stayed in Yorkshire to do her training contract and then left for London when she qualified.

Though her career would bring her full circle, offering women not so different from herself a great career in Yorkshire, her home remains in London. She talks to The Independent from her desk at home in Ealing Broadway, where she works remotely and lives with David Geake, her husband of almost 35 years, who is a retired lawyer.

She visits the two company offices and the 30 staff often. Bob Grayson, her partner, built the team up in Sheffield and runs the office from day to day, while Cooper spends a lot of time abroad working with the big clients the firm is now known for.

Grayson’s experience of managing major global projects, combined with Cooper’s expertise as global head of a magic circle employee share plans department, has attracted clients including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Aviva and Dell. Seventy per cent of Tapestry’s business came from the US in the last year, with other clients in Canada, Switzerland, Finland, Germany and Japan.

Clients are also attracted by fees up to 40 per cent cheaper than the competition. “Being based in Yorkshire means we’re so much more cost effective,” Cooper says. “Rent is so much cheaper up there and that makes it cheaper for our clients.”

Cooper credits Tapestry’s flexible working strategy for helping parents especially to keep working after the birth of a child. This has led to an impressive retention record: only one staff member has left in the last six years, while fifty per cent of the firm’s work comes from repeat business.

Three quarters of the staff are female and Cooper says the proportion is even greater for senior management, which is 85 per cent female. “There are issues in all City firms about retaining and promoting women when most of the City firms have less than 20 per cent women partners,” she later tells me via e-mail. “That masks that even fewer women make it to senior management in law firms or as General Counsel.”

Not all those making use of flexible working are parents. Rebecca Campsall joined the firm as a legal trainee just as her athletics career was taking off. Now she’s ranked 11th for the 100 metre sprint in the UK. She hopes to compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and later in the 2020 Olympics. Campsall trains every evening and every Sunday and in two years, she has never missed a session.

“In terms of England selections, they really don’t give you much notice, so I could be told on Thursday, ‘On Friday you’re flying out to Bratislava.’ In a normal workplace that would be really difficult,” Campsall says. When a consultant recommended Tapestry for the flexible working, Campsall made sure to be open about her training schedule in the interview.

“A lot of firms can promise that it will be ok, but it was clear when I came here that this was the only place where I found that it was encouraged,” she says.

A quarter of British women do not return to work after childbirth and the pay gap gets increasingly wider for those who do, with women earning on average 17.5 per cent less than men in their forties, according to research by the Trades Union Congress.

Cooper, who does not have children, says she hasn’t experienced sexism at work. “Linklaters were a good firm for promoting merit. I wouldn’t say it was the same for everybody, but I was very grateful for them,” she says. “But it was very unusual going into a room where you weren’t the only women at the table.”

Nonetheless she recognises that at some firms, having a baby is assumed to mean that a lawyer wants to do less. “We need to understand the unconscious biases that go on in decision-making about promotions and assignments,” she says. “Particularly if a lawyer has children there may be the assumption that they don’t want training or to spend a lot of time abroad. I don’t agree with quotas but I do think things need to be improved.”

Tapestry hopes to show through its flexible policy that parents, and women especially, can be excellent lawyers if they are given the chance to thrive at a time when 60 per cent of law graduates are female, according to the Law Society, while only 27 per cent of partners are women in firms of over 50 people.

“My mother left school at 13 and was a very smart lady but didn’t have the opportunities I have had,” says Cooper, who was once on the UK board of UN Women, the United Nations for Gender Equality. “I am very keen to support women to reach their potential.”