10 Fun Exercises That Will Help You Become a Better Entrepreneur

entrepreneurship

When I first started out as an entrepreneur, I lacked many skills. I wasn’t able to think on my feet; I wasn’t good at sales; and I was a terrible networker. And the list goes on…

What do you think I did? Quit?

Of course not! Instead, I developed the necessary skills. How? I created 10 unique exercises that helped me build those skills.

Download a printable version of 10 fun exercises that will help you become a better entrepreneur.

Here are 10 exercises that will help you succeed as an entrepreneur:

Exercise #1: Use random words within sales calls

When it comes to sales, you have to learn how to think on your feet. You can’t predict what people are going to ask, so you have to learn how to think fast.

To learn how to think on the spot, you should start doing sales calls with a friend or a co-worker listening in. All you have to do is put your phone on speaker and have your friend or colleague give you random words to say in your next sentence.

For example, I was on a sales call the other day, and my friend told me to use the word “suntan” and “sandwich” in the next sentence. I ended up telling the potential client…

With your expertise and my marketing knowledge, we’ll end up crushing it so much that we’ll be sitting on the beach within the next 6 months, getting a suntan, drinking beers, and eating sandwiches.

You might find this game difficult at first, but it gets easier over time. It also helps stimulate your creativity and can help build your confidence when doing sales.

Exercise #2: Find 5 facts

Do your research before any business meeting or phone call. Focus not only on the company but also on the individual. It might be the companies who write checks, but it is individuals within the organization who make the decisions.

You can find out a lot about individuals by performing a few Google searches and using tools like Rapportive. These days, it’s really easy to do this because of social media—people’s lives are public.

Getting to know someone within the company is important since people prefer to do business with people who are like them. With a bit of research, you can increase your odds of closing a deal.

It also never hurts to learn how to become a good researcher. As an entrepreneur, you won’t always have the answers, so you’ll need to learn how to find them through research.

Exercise #3: Do something embarrassing in public

Fear is something that holds a lot of us back. In business and in life, you probably care what other people think about you. For this reason, you likely fear doing anything that could embarrass you or cause others to judge you.

One way to get around this is to do something embarrassing in public. One such example is to lie down on the sidewalk with barely any clothes on for 10 minutes.

Sure, you may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but you’ll eventually get used to it.

By doing something embarrassing on a weekly basis, you’ll start to care less what others think of you. Eventually, this will also apply to your entrepreneurial life, and you will start to do whatever it takes to succeed (assuming you aren’t doing anything unethical).

The last thing you want is for fear and emotion to hold you back from success.

Exercise #4: Read the news every day

Find a few news sites that you like, and read them each day. From BBC to CNN, there is no shortage of news sources from which to choose. By reading these sites each day, you will develop a good working knowledge of current events.

Why is this important?

Here are 2 good reasons to read the news daily:

  1. Current events affect businesses – if something big is happening in the world, it can affect your business in a negative or positive way. For this reason, you should keep current. For instance, a friend of mine has a gun business. He noticed that every time there is a high school shooting, his sales skyrocket. Any kind of shooting is horrible, but he needs to know when they happen so he doesn’t attribute the increased sales to his marketing efforts.
  2. People talk about the world – when you are attending business meetings or networking functions, others will likely bring up current events. If you stay up-to-date, people will see that you are knowledgeable and smart, and it will also help you stay engaged in the conversation.

If you are wondering what sites I read on a daily basis, it’s BBC and the Economist.

Exercise #5: Learn your numbers

When I speak with new entrepreneurs, do you know what many of them tend to forget? Their numbers. From what things cost to how much they charge to their profit margins, most new entrepreneurs tend to forget their business numbers.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll have customers and clients who will put you on the spot. They will ask you questions such as:

  • How much do you charge?
  • How long will it take to see results?
  • How many customers do you have?

These may seem like simple questions—and indeed they are—but many entrepreneurs tend to freeze on the spot and forget or simply not know the answers.

If you can’t answer these simple questions, how skilled can you be at your job?

At least that’s what people you are speaking to might think about you. Lacking a good answer shows that you are inexperienced and might not be worth working with.

Study your numbers, memorize them, and know them like the back of your hand. Doing this will help you understand your business more clearly and show you where you need to fine-tune it in order to grow it faster.

Exercise #6: Have fun

Whether it’s partying, attending fun events, or simply hanging out with friends, you need to learn how to have fun.

Think back to the time when you were a kid… You enjoyed life, right? You goofed around, laughed, and created great memories with your friends.

Adults tend to forget how to have fun. All we think about is work—but this will ultimately hurt you in business. It will cause you to burn out, and it will lead to lost revenue.

How? you might ask.

Over the years, I’ve learned that providing a good product or service isn’t enough. Some people will do business only if they get along with everyone involved. You need to learn how to entertain others and show them a good time.

The fun doesn’t have to be expensive; it can be as simple as doing a mud run with a small group of people. Whatever you do, make sure you are having fun. It can have a big impact on the number of clients you’ll end up closing.

Exercise #7: Stop judging people

Who likes being judged? I know I don’t…

As humans, we naturally judge other people based on many factors such as how they dress, how they look, how they speak, or where they live.

You shouldn’t judge others. As long as someone isn’t doing anything unethical, let them live their life. If they are happy, you should be happy for them.

When you start judging others, you’ll notice that you’ll start to shut doors that could have been potential business partnerships, and you’ll also start creating enemies for no reason.

So, how can you stop judging other people?

Every time someone does something that would normally cause you to  judge them, just say to yourself, “I’m not going to judge them.” I know this sounds silly, but it really works. After a while, you’ll stop judging people.

Exercise #8: Cut out the bullshit

I don’t care if you are the world’s best bullshitter… People hate it. Stop beating around the bush, and get to the point.

The next time you are hanging out with friends or colleagues, get to the point. Of course, you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings by being too direct, but you need to get to the point when it comes to business-related matters.

When others—co-workers or potential customers—start bullshitting, try to cut them off and get to the point for them. You don’t want to call them out, but eventually they’ll figure out that they should cut to the chase.

Not everyone will like it, but many will end up respecting you for it. It also shows how confident you are, and you’ll start gaining some new deals as a result.

Exercise #9: Hold a silly conversation for 30 minutes

Have you ever tried to hold a conversation on a silly topic for 30 minutes? Heck, it can be hard to sustain a 30-minute conversation even on a sensible topic!

I want you to start going out to lounges, restaurants, bars, or any other public places where you can meet random people that you likely wouldn’t do business with.

Go up to random people, and strike up conversations on useless or silly topics. Try to sustain the conversation for at least 30 minutes. If you start noticing that the other person’s interest in the conversation is dying down, end it and move on to the next target.

It will be hard to last for 5 minutes at first, but eventually you’ll get to the 30-minute mark.

Why should you do this? It will teach you conversational skills. From being entertaining to capturing your audience’s attention, conversation is a required skill in business. Without it, you won’t get much done.

Exercise #10: What was she wearing and doing?

Memorization is important. If you forget little details, how will you remember the important ones?

As a kid, I didn’t have the best memory, but now I remember almost everything. How? My friends and I have been playing a game that helps.

Every time we go out, we pick random women, and after the event, we quiz each other on what they were wearing and doing. The reason we pick women is because it’s more difficult to remember what they are wearing. With men, it’s typically jeans and a t-shirt, so even if you aren’t paying attention, you can usually get it right by guessing.

Start studying the people around you, and pay attention to each detail—from their clothing to their actions and body language. In doing so, you’ll train yourself to remember more information.

This exercise has helped me remember all the important details concerning my company. I no longer have to take notes or keep track of what’s important…it’s all stored within my brain.

Conclusion

When you start out as an entrepreneur, you will lack many of the skills needed to succeed. So, what should you do? Rather than quit, try to learn the skills you need.

Developing these skills doesn’t have to be boring like reading textbooks. You can learn them through fun exercises like the ones mentioned above. These strategies have worked well for me as well as a few of my friends, so why not give them a shot?

How else can you learn the necessary skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur?

P.S. If you want help with your entrepreneurial journey, feel free to reach out to me.

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Comments

  1. A really fantastic article Neil, this will help me develop my entrepreneurial and selling skills, at the same time developing my lifestyle, and your so right as you grow you seem to stop having fun but this will drain you out. Thanks for reminding me to have FUN Neil. Thanks

    • Omar, it’s always important to remember why you are doing something. You should enjoy your work with passion 😉

  2. Christopher Pontine :

    Hey Hey,

    Totes magotes true when you state “As humans, we naturally judge other people based on many factors such as how they dress, how they look, how they speak, or where they live.”

    Something all of us need to realize and do.

    Thanks,

    Christopher Pontine

    • Christopher, as I get older I accept things as they are more and more — I think it’s a good quality to grow into.

  3. Your point about keeping with the news is something too many businesses overlook. I’m biased b/c I spent the 1st 15 years of my career as a tv sports anchor but it’s SO important.

    You MUST know what’s going on in your client’s space (could the NFL purse policy affect a retail client – yes). You MUST know what’s going on in the markets in which you do business (is snowmaggedon paralyzing business in your strongest market). I could go on.

    Good stuff as always, Neil.

    • Gina, I started reading daily papers early on in college and haven’t stopped since. If you don’t keep up to date on current events you wont be able to make the best educated decisions.

  4. Maikel Michiels :

    Awesome post Neil!

    Especially like #3 and #9, since I’m kind of an introvert. It’s gonna be tough, but I’ll definitely be using these games to improve myself, thank you for sharing!

    Maikel

    • Maikel, we are all scared of certain things — it’s overcoming those fears that make us courageous. Let me know if you need any help along the way.

  5. I used to be a supervisor in a call center in the travel industry. We handled inbound sales calls. I’d come up with a “word of the day”, and the team was supposed to find a way to use that word in every sales call. I like your version of the game better, but it’s great to see that some of the things that I was doing years ago are still in action in some form today. 🙂

    • Randy, it’s an old and tested practice. I think people in sales should always try this strategy out every now and then to keep up with their improv skills.

  6. Awesome post, Neil. Different than your other ones – in a good way. Here are some of my own ideas:

    – Build your willpower by setting increasingly higher goals for yourself (for example, if you’re aiming to run for 30 minutes, push yourself those last 5 minutes – don’t just give up!)
    – Follow successful / inspirational people on social media (I follow all the Shark Tank investors!)
    – Wake up and listen to inspirational podcasts (I love Money Pillow)
    – Use productivity apps (my fav is RescueTime)
    – Become more flexible (I’m not a morning person but I started waking up at 5 am several times a week to force myself to become flexible)

    Just throwing out some ideas 🙂

    Cheers,
    Gabby

  7. Raza Nagori :

    Great Post Neil and Mostly i like The Point is (Fear is something that holds a lot of us back.) it,s True.

    Once Again great post.

  8. Hi Neil,

    Such a nice article you share, for being an entrepreneur.
    One most imp thing is time punctuality as per my opinion.

    Keep touch with us.

    Thanks

  9. Hi Neli,

    I have been following your blog for quite some time and all of your information are really useful:)

    I hope to become like you 1 day writing your own personal experience post rather than just “technical and how to” post. It’s quite hard to feel the connection if people were to just write “how to” post because it can be from someone else but this post made me felt connected to you. I feel that it’s really based on your personal experience and it’s something that I can learn out of it as well.

    I am current working on email marketing in the self help niche and working on my blog. It’s really tough to produce consistent content but I will use you as an inspiration to continue writing more engaging content!

    Looking forward to learn more from you:)

    Regards,
    Wilson

    • Wilson, awesome to hear. Sounds like you are on the right track. If you need any ideas or help feel free to reach out to me.

  10. Woa! Neil,

    Let’s get this straight.
    No.3 – You are asking me – an elderly (yet still remarkably attractive in a moth-eaten sort of way) English woman – to lie down, partially clothed, on the pavement for ten minutes?

    I’d be deliberately run-over, taken away by men in white coats or removed by the dog warden.

    Perhaps, I could embarrass myself by, instead, trying to do a crossword puzzle in public but take my gloves off?

    Kindest.

    • Zarayna, haha that made me laugh out loud. Whatever works best for you — everyone has their own concept of “embarrassment” it’s all about overcoming it to gain confidence and courage.

    • My favorite thing to do is to get on a crowded elevator and wait til the doors shut then announce to everyone, “Okay.. so I’m sure you are all wondering why I called you here.”

      Never fails to embarrass and entertain at the same time, especially because elevators tend to be very tense locations for most people.

      Try it!

  11. Hilarious and deeply inspirational, all at once! Can’t remember truth and fun mingled this way before! I love this!

    Thanks.

  12. Angela Glassburn :

    I don’t think I would lay on the sidewalk with barely any clothes on, but with my kids, I’m always doing something embarrassing when I’m with them! And its very true that you will eventually get used to it because I did! Thanks, Neil!

    • Angela, it’s all about not caring what others think. I just gave a random example — anything work as long as you are overcoming your fears.

  13. Michael Bely :

    Neil, thanks for an interesting article.

    In addition to reading news, I think its important to understand what is going on with the world economy in general which inevitably affects or will affect even small businesses.

    it’s especially important for bigger companies, because they are more rigid and are not able to change quickly when the economic changes become apparent.

    • Michael, great points. That is why I read the BBC and Economist — I find that they typically provide unfiltered information on business and the markets.

  14. William Zimmerman :

    Neil,

    Great post here as always!

    Love # 5 Learn Your Numbers and #6 Have Fun but beware of #4! Reading the News everyday will depress you if you let it, so watch out!

    Have a great rest of the week!

    All the Best,
    Bill Z

    • Bill, I try to just read major headlines and economist news. I used to read BBC daily from top to bottom and you are right it can definitely be a letdown and depress you.

      • William Zimmerman :

        yeah. great call reading the headlines. plus, as busy as you are, I doubt you have the time to read most of it anyway.

        after i start my business, i am hoping to not have the time to read most of the paper in the near future myself.

  15. Nisha Pandey :

    Hey Neil,

    You have given some awesome tips here. Everybody has a dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. These fun exercises are very helpful to enjoy entrepreneurship journey.

    I do agree with the Exercises #3, #4 and #6. Having a fun can also be helpful as per business point of you. We can meet/pitch lot of new clients by attending some fun events. It is a great idea to grow your business.

    Thanks a lot Neil for the wonderful exercises. I really enjoyed reading here.

    Have a fun day!

    • Nisha, glad you liked them. Let me know if you need help with anything at all. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  16. Md. Hamim Mondal :

    Great informative post Neil Sir.
    Nice points you mention for being a better entrepreneur.

  17. Nice Passive Income :

    It is great to learn from a great entrepreneur himself! Thanks.

  18. Successful entrepreneurship requires really high level skills and these exercises are really good. Last two must be some real fun.

  19. David Smethie :

    Awesome info as always Neil. I think the most important of the 10 tips is #6, have fun. This is something we as adults tend to neglect and it impacts both our personal and business lives.

    I know it’s cliche, but people do business with those they know, like, and trust. Taking your prospects out to a fun event not only gets them to know you on a more personal level, but increases the chances that they’ll like you-hopefully the trust follows and you close the deal 🙂

    • David, business is nothing more than friendship and relationship building — you tend to trust and enjoy working with people who are very much like yourself.

  20. Steve Estimable :

    Neil, great article.

    I will definitely try: Exercise #9: Hold a silly conversation for 30 minutes, i think it is also a double exercises to not show body language sign that the conversation is kind of silly!

    Q: How else can you learn the necessary skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur?

    A: I would say public speaking is definitely an exercise to practice and i will add to that to deeply know yourself…

    *Another exercise i think could help is “Acting Classes”

    Have a productive day!

    • Steve, it’s funny that you bring that up. The random word strategy I mentioned is actually an improv practice that many actors use. Thanks for the great feedback.

  21. Michelle Leith :

    Love today’s post especially the silliness. I have found through life and it’s journey’s humor should play a large part. Very much helps survive and get through those uncomfortable tasks!!

  22. Hi Neil,
    I like this – a little business wisdom mixed with life wisdom. Thanks for posting.

  23. Isabell ishwarey :

    I’m absolutely moon over olives that you have inspired everyone to have fun this week! And in business. Here’s to you and the suntan????

    • Isabell, thanks for reading and the enthusiasm. I definitely hope everyone on the east coast gets a suntan soon. See — I used the word suntan 😉

  24. Prerna Malik :

    LOVE this article Neil {but then love pretty much everything you write ;)}

    I personally need to nail #5. As someone who hates numbers with a vengeance, I do know it’s all in the mind.. You’ve just inspired me to deal with it.

    Thank you:)

  25. Swathi Nair :

    Never knew that so many skills were needed to make you an entrepreneur. You have structured and explained them amazingly well. Guess I will have to work hard on developing these.

    Just loved the example of suntan and sandwiches. Amazing that you cooked up the sentence all of a sudden.

    I liked what Tag Goulet said, I learn most of the news from Social Media.
    Time to polish my skills and start being more social… Thanks for the wonderful article.. 🙂

  26. “For example, I was on a sales call the other day, and my friend told me to use the word “suntan” and “sandwich” in the next sentence. I ended up telling the potential client.”

    I don’t know if you watch The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but he does this with his guests every once in a while. They just have a conversation and then they are given words that they have to use. Type “jimmy fallon word sneak” into YouTube and you should get a bunch of results.

  27. When I first read the headline for this post I thought you were writing about some fitness exercises to help build entrepreneurial spirit haha.

    Some crazy cool ideas here, Neil. Thanks for sharing.

    Josh

    • Josh, glad I could help. Let me know if you need anything else.

      • Hi Neil,

        Great post.!! How lucky I’m to see this post when I’ve just started my journey as an Entrepreneur..!!
        Kudos to you Neil,

        Thanks
        Tanmay,

  28. Wow, Neil. This was a really awesome post. There are many articles about being an entrepreneur, but the examples you gave for acquiring these new skills is the best and most fun I have read. Thanks for always sharing value, that’s why I always come back to quicksprout. Keep up the amazing work as usual.

  29. testamatol Review :

    I’m gone to inforem my little brother, that hhe should also pay a quick visit ths web site on regular basis to obtfain updated from hottest news update.

  30. Saravjeet K Sandhu :

    Entertaining and informative post. Sure will read my news early in the day than late in the evening. Excellent tip.

  31. I find this very useful… As I prepare myself for the journey of Entrepreneurship which keeps me up all night. I know I have alot to offer. Thanks

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