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3 tips for taking your small business to the next level in 2018

It’s a great year to grow your business. Here’s what to do and where to look.

Before digging into our tips, check out our video profile of a young entrepreneur who's already putting these tips into action in our featurette on FindSpark founder and CEO Emily Miethner.

If you're an entrepreneur, freelancer, or member of a startup, first: take a moment to recognize how much you've already accomplished. You're doing what so many only dream of – taking control of your career, following your passions, and creating opportunities for others.

We know small business life isn't all blue skies and magical thinking, though. It's hard, demanding work that can, at times, feel overwhelming. How can you possibly grow your business when it feels like you spend all your time simply treading water? Well, we have at least three ways.

Tip #1: Delegate

When you're a solopreneur or member of a small team, it's easy to fall into a "do all the things" mindset. After all, if you don't do it, who will? The answer is simple: other people.

According to a recent study commissioned by freelancing platform Upwork, some 57.3 million Americans freelanced in 2017. That's 57.3 million people ready to take some work off your plate and who, in fact, may be better suited to the tasks. Take a hard look at the tasks taking up the majority of your time, prioritize them, and determine which among them can be delegated to others. Then, hit up online freelancing resources like Upwork, Fiverr, or Flexjobs to find the right match for your needs.

How It Helps

While entrepreneurs tend to "wear many hats" as a badge of honor, studies show that multitasking not only damages your overall efficiency, but can lead to declines in your cognitive performance. Delegating tasks – particularly routine/recurring ones – frees up your time and energy to focus on the bigger picture, pursue more clients, and, of course, try out our other tips.

Tip #2: Find A Mentor (Or Become One)

Working for yourself or in a small company can feel isolating, but please remember you are not alone. Thousands of people have stood in your shoes, made the tough choices, and lived to tell the tale. More good news: many of those people would be happy to help you.

Finding a mentor can be as easy as reaching out directly to a professional whose work you respect. But, if the direct approach doesn't work for you, mentoring and networking sites like FindSpark (check out our video with FindSpark founder Emily Miethner above), Score, or even your own LinkedIn network are great resources for finding a mentor.

How It Helps

Mentors can be a tremendous source of support, insight, and that rare form of wisdom that comes from experience. They can also help connect you with the right people to help your business blossom – whether that's potential new clients, new colleagues, or other mentors. What's more, becoming a mentor yourself will help you flex your own problem-solving muscles while providing you the satisfaction of helping others. Win, win, win.

Tip #3: Never Stop Learning

Perhaps the most important factor in achieving and maintaining your success will be your ability to learn and adapt. The world is changing rapidly and often in unexpected ways on a daily basis. Your business – and, by extension, you – will need to keep up with the latest innovations, technologies, and lessons to stay relevant in a competitive marketplace.

Luckily, a wealth of resources lies just a few clicks away. Check out online learning sites like Skillshare, General Assembly, and Udemy for scores upon scores courses covering a variety of topics and disciplines.

How It Helps

The most obvious benefit to continuing your education is staying up-to-date on the trends and technologies shaping your industry. Learning new skills will also help you look at your work in new ways, with new tools in your arsenal. But, perhaps most importantly, lifelong learning can combat cognitive decline as we age, helping us to stay happier and healthier over the long haul.

Bonus Tip: Where to Do It All

While following the tips above appears simple in the abstract, the process of pursuing all three at once can be quite daunting. As we mentioned before, you're already doing all the things, how can you possibly do more?

Well, if you happen to be a member of the popular coworking/office space startup WeWork, you're in luck. The folks at  LG (makers of gram ultralight laptops, televisions, and even smart appliances) have partnered with WeWork to create exclusive LG gram Lounges at select WeWork facilities in New York and Los Angeles, and each LG gram Lounge has it all.

LG wants to help redefine how entrepreneurs work by arming them with the tools and skills they need to succeed. Each LG gram Lounge will host networking events, lunch-and-learn sessions, as well as opportunities to demo, purchase, and even win brand new LG gram laptops.

Drop by an LG gram Lounge monthly talk – featuring some of Skillshare's most popular instructors – and you'll have the chance to learn something new, meet a potential mentor (or mentee), and maybe even connect with a freelancer to help with your workload. And, hey, maybe you'll score a sweet new laptop, too!

The bonus tips keep on coming! The new LG gram laptops themselves are an entrepreneur's dream – durable, beautifully designed, and chock full of the features you'll need for your life on the go, including massive memory stores (up to a 1TB), extra long battery life (up to 22.5 hours), and an ultra-lightweight form factor weighing in at just 2.1 lbs for the 13-inch model.

Okay, last bonus tip, we swear: Purchase an LG gram and you'll be rewarded with a two-month free membership and 20% discount for one year on Skillshare.  

Sound amazing? Scroll back up to the video for a sneak peek at the LG Lounge and the new LG gram in our featurette on FindSpark founder and CEO Emily Miethner, shot on location in the LG Lounge in WeWork Times Square.

To learn more about the LG gram, visit