People always ask if we have any suggestions for being successful. They question if we can name what we think contributed the most to our success. As one of the major business advisors in Houston, we’d like to share our observations from years of business experience. Applicable for both online and physical businesses, here are our top eleven tips for success:
- Always ensure all of your phone calls and emails get returned. In addition, make a lot of contacts and requests through phone, email, or even in person. We’re absolutely shocked at the number of people who don’t bother to return the request. It’s disrespectful and classless to ignore someone’s request – it disappoints them. When people are disappointed, they let others know you’ve wronged them. The fewer people out there talk bad about you, the better.
- Help anyone who asks. It doesn’t matter what it is (as long as it’s legal) – if someone asks you to assist them and you can, don’t hold back. Whether it requires setting aside some valuable time, writing a check, rolling up your sleeves, or just responding to a question from someone who doesn’t know as much, suck it up and help.
- Try knowing more than most people do about your business or industry. Go to a trade show or seminar every now and then. Participate in forums or discussions, whether they’re online or not. It’ll keep you connected to the people in your industry, making you a guru. The internet is a brilliant tool for getting you there.
- Treat your employees well – because they deserve it. In our business, our employees get away with a lot. They can come and go as they please, get surprise perks all the time, and are well paid. While some take advantage of these, they don’t last long. Being bad to your subordinates always come back to haunt you. It also means that you’ll get hosed. Try to make the workplace as casual, comfortable, and fun as you can. Show your employees by example, how you want them to treat co-workers and customers. They’re going to follow your lead. If they don’t like coming to work, it will show in what your business produces.
- Appreciate everyone who assists you in climbing the ladder – especially those who didn’t gain anything from it. This is another thing that we’re shocked more people have not caught on to. A simple, heartfelt thank you acknowledges the time and effort of these people, cementing them as allies. Trust us: you need all the allies you can get.
- Befriend your competitors. Yes, you’re all competing for customers, but you’re all frogs in the same pot of boiling water.
- Keep your sense of humor – it’s invaluable.
- Over-deliver to your customers. Remind them you’re watching out for their business and treat them as if they’re your friends.
- Get a hobby – race car, motorcycle, hot tub, whatever. You need a transition away from business to your personal self. Ensure you have one. It’ll give your mind a chance to disengage and enable you to background process all you’re thinking about. Transferring information from the conscious mind to the subconscious one is like working out using different muscles – it’ll help you gain results.
- Be very careful who you choose to listen to, but have a go-to team, and defer to someone niftier than you. While people mean well, it takes far less courage to poke holes in someone’s idea than it does to highlight the positive. Try keeping some good advisors around you.
- Don’t give up.
Irrespective of the books you read about getting rich quick, it doesn’t happen that way (most of the time). While some of us make it look simple, it really isn’t – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
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If you’ve long wished to be self-employed, to design your own destiny, or call your own shots, try bypassing all those yeah-buts that’ve been stopping you everytime. While business ownership may not be for the ordinary, it’s the only way to go for those who understand the American Dream by accomplishing a satisfying lifestyle through business ownership. Successful business owners share specific character traits that have assisted them in getting there. They have what it takes to overcome barriers – to evaluation situations – and have a can-do attitude. Let’s discuss three types of attitudes:
The self-protective type
This person usually wants to be comfortable. They work hard to seek a routine comfort level, avoid pain, fly under the radar, play it safe, and avoid risks. This probably describes most people to a certain degree. In maintaining the status quo, shaking things up, or not making waves, all of us have a certain degree of comfort. But if being more extra cautious can’t be overcome, business ownership may not be in the cards. Besides, being self-sufficient equates to being self-employed. It requires you to be confident in your abilities and get out of your comfort zone. While many people may think it’s riskier to work for profit instead of a steady paycheck, millions of people are laid off and fired every year in the corporate world; being an employee is rarely low risk.
The self-involved type
To a large degree, this person believes that they are the strongest, fastest, biggest, the best, and the smartest. However, their ego can let them down. These people are systematic, focused, and successful goal setters – but they can have trouble as enterprise builders. They may not be willing to listen to others who are in the position to advise them, like financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, or other business experts. Since they can’t empathize with others, they’re unable to lead and inspire. So, they can’t piece together the building blocks that set the foundation of successful business operation – a group of people working together as a team. Interpersonal and management skills along with the ability to delegate, must be present somewhere in the DNA of an owner of a long-running business.
The self-esteemed type
These individuals have the inner motivation and creative spirit that drives them to accomplish what motivates them. They embrace personal responsibility and believe if there’s a problem, they can come up with a solution. They know what they aren’t aware of and the skills they lack and fully intend to hire others to fill the gaps. They know what makes them tick and have a God-gifted inclination to be responsible for doing the right thing – with judgement and honesty. They also believe that others will do the same.
Keep in mind that none of the above types is the stand-alone secret of business ownership. It’s the genetic makeup or right combination of these attitudes that are the stuff that successful business owners are composed of. For example, self-protectiveness is a natural instinct. It’s impossible to survive without it. However, this attitudinal gene should be tempered and can’t be so dominant that it’s difficult to overcome. A measure of risk must be allowed to take a leap of faith. By exercising due diligence on any specific business of interest and performing a self-assessment before pursuing a business acquisition, a potential business ownerr can accomplish an acceptable risk level for their individual situation.
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