Success, it’s a term that’s definition varies depending on who you speak to. For some, success means achieving a daily sense of joy and fulfilment, for others it means creating huge profits or contributing to worthy causes.
Whatever your definition of success, these 10 basic steps will help you towards creating the business you dream of and accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.
If there’s one main hurdle which delays both business and personal success, it’s fear. Fear can be a huge obstacle for all of us. Most people only dream of starting their own business and launching their own products; trapped in the monotony of their lives, taking a step out into the unknown to start a company is a terrifying prospect, and most people underestimate their capabilities and simply write it off as something ‘they’ could never do…
But if you want to separate yourself from those who are left unfulfilled in life, from those who desperately want to create something impactful yet can’t find the bravery – you need to push passed your fears anyway. Most successful people have had to place themselves in vulnerable circumstances. They’ve had to take risks (like sacrificing their regular paycheck for the unreliable income of a new business) and make hard decisions when they’ve felt completely underprepared.
Business success comes from embracing the entrepreneurial journey and acknowledging there will be times you feel completely out of your depth. Times when you are afraid of failure, afraid of making the wrong choice, and afraid that you’re not good enough.
To succeed in business, you need to make a commitment to yourself that your goals are worth the anxiety you will inevitably experience as you strive to achieve them. That when things don’t go according to plan, you’ll pick yourself up and try again (and again) until you’re where you want to be.
Making the leap into starting a new business shows huge personal courage. And typically those who do so are the sort of people who know this and are always trying to push themselves to be and do better for themselves. But making the occasional bold decision and pushing yourself to make progress is not the same as committing to ongoing personal development and growth – vital to an entrepreneurial success.
Whatever sector you’re venturing into, starting a new business requires confidence, patience, motivation, and an open-mind – all of which can be continually practiced and improved upon. Business success also depends on being a great leader. You need to be able to help others to most effectively help you. To inspire people to do good for your business, so that you can focus on your specific areas of expertise.
Think about how you can invest in yourself as a leader, whether it’s sitting down to read a good leadership book once a week or undertaking a coaching programme or qualification to bring out the best in you.
Great leaders pay attention too. Not only do they know where their own strengths and weaknesses lie, allowing them to delegate business tasks effectively, they are able to quickly pick out what others do and don’t do best – enabling them to put people in the right positions to ensure the company can achieve their desired outcomes.
We’ve all heard a business rags-to-riches story (take Richard Branson or Tony Robbin) and been inspired by the notion of creating huge wealth out of nothing. In fact, the entrepreneurial journey has become somewhat romanticised around the idea you need to first financially struggle before you can flourish. In reality, business success stories rely on strong finances – your company is going to need investment, and careful management of these funds to go alongside it. Sure you can start with nothing, but it’s vital you learn to understand business finances and how you can plan for a profitable and secure future for your brand.
Living pay check to pay check as an entrepreneur is a dangerous game and one which can lead to extreme pressure and decreased motivation. Those who are financially literate know what sacrifices to make in the early days of business, to ensure they can keep their business afloat and make money as soon as possible. They actively seek opportunities which allow them to build money for their business, fast - without losing creative control or piling on unmanageable repayments and interest rates. Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to do this.
Successful business owners are willing to spend time learning about money management themselves (for personal peace of mind) but will invest in professional assistance too, knowing that having a business accountant and financial advisor is a worthwhile investment from the start.
Leveraging opportunities is something a lot of successful business people have a born talent for. It involves being able to spot an opportunity and exactly how it can be best used to move them forward and advance their business towards their goals – they don’t write things off straight away, but instead think carefully about ‘what could be in it’ for them.
Leveraging an opportunity relies upon being open to where new opportunities might take you; to succeed in business you need to thinking ‘outside the box’ and consider new opportunities from various perspectives. A successful entrepreneur will know how to create opportunities and profits on an almost daily basis, not just in their business but in their personal life too – most importantly, though, they find ways to give back in return too so ties are strengthened and more opportunities are likely to arise in the future.
Those who truly succeed at running a business know they can’t do everything. We’ve already discussed the importance of being a great leader, and creating the right partnerships is another aspect of this – you need to know how to leverage other people’s talents, connections, and resources. Successful businesses often start out as a one-man band but ultimately they depend on networks of people who are all passionate, pro-active, and want the best for a company. These people can be inside or outside of the company itself, as employees or strategic partners and affiliates.
Aside from the skills and networks you gain access to when working with others, you’re sure to find joy in celebrating your successes with others who have made your achievements possible.
Just as there is a common notion that entrepreneurs need to financially struggle before they can succeed, there is also a notion that many hugely successful business people are not actually very nice to do business with. This is another myth of the business world. Of course there are exceptions but, as a rule of thumb, those who succeed in business are a pleasure to do business with. They have the right attitude towards success, and more importantly the right attitude to how other people fit into their vision of business success.
Entrepreneurs who create great wealth and have a great influence not only want the best for themselves, but they are happy and eager to help others achieve great things too. Yes, most successful business owners do love money (and why shouldn’t they!) but it is not their driving force. Instead, motivation comes from doing good, making an impact with their products, and creating a business they can be proud of. That’s not to say that they don’t strive to make greater profits each month and year, but truly successful business owners are not striving to do so in order to feel superior. They do so in order to challenge themselves further and gain the resources to help their business further grow and innovate.
If you want true business success, it’s vital you stop and appreciate everything you achieve along the way. You will never gain a sense of accomplishment if you set yourself goals never to actually stop and acknowledge their achievement.
Be sure to stop and be grateful for your business journey on a frequent basis. The world we live in now is so fast paced, technology often rushes us on to the next meeting, the next ‘to-do’, or the next financial target – leaving us little time to stop and enjoy where we are in the present moment, or to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve taken so far.
Never forget the struggles you’ve overcome, the people you’ve met, the places you’ve been and the lessons you’ve learned to lead you to where you are today.
To succeed in business, you need to work, work, work… right? Wrong! One of the biggest misconceptions on the road to business success is that you must work yourself into the ground before you can stop and enjoy life. Running a business should not be all work and no play. Yes, there are going to be times where you need to commit to working out-of-hours when working on product launches and important marketing campaigns… but overall you should put an even higher priority on your wellbeing than if you were working for someone else.
The demands of an entrepreneur are high. Not only in terms of the time needed to take a business forward but in terms of the emotional and psychological pressures you’ll endure. Make sure you are taking your mental and physical health seriously on your pursuit for business success. After all, your business cannot succeed without you, and even if it were – you’ll get no enjoyment from the trappings of success if you are exhausted, depressed, or in the hospital.
Make sure you have time in your daily schedule to eat properly, take screen breaks, socialise and unwind. Don’t be tempted to burn the candles at both ends – allowing the stress of a busy day to turn into an excuse to over-do-it with drink (or drugs) of an evening. Let off steam in a way which is productive and strengthening; think about practising meditation or yoga, take up a sport (to get the endorphins pumping) or simply take time out at home on the sofa.
It’s also crucial you respect your bodies need for quality sleep. Repeatedly working until the early hours of the morning may seem productive, but if you’re unable to catch-up on lost hours your body will be in deficit – leading to poorer future sleep quality, poor health, and poor decision making.
Can your friends really make an impact on your business success? Do you really need to keep non-business connections in your life when you’re working so hard to create a business? The answers: definitely! Having a healthy balance of business and non-business peers in your life will help remind you: ‘you are not your business’. You have more to offer the world than even the most fantastic products and services you offer, and all the business accolades you collect. We are all human and have love, kindness, and joy to offer too – which is where our friends come in.
Not only will friends allow you opportunities to unwind and have fun outside of business, encouragement from friends you love will help keep you motivated towards your goals on days when you’re feeling disheartened or overwhelmed.
Those who are seeking true success in business know how closely business success relates to success in your life in general. Success comes from having the right work-life balance and from sharing in your achievements with those you love, such as your family.
As you strive to create more with your business, remember why you started out in business in the first place. Was one of the huge attractions the thought of being able to provide for and spend more time with your family? Don’t lose sight of this. Treasure your family throughout the business journey and find ways to enjoy their company despite hectic schedules, no excuses.
While your family may joke at the inheritance your business will leave behind, remember that you are the most important asset your family could ever have.
Now you’ve read these 10 tips to business success, are you ready to do what it takes? Leave a comment and confess which aspects of your personal and business development you need to work on next or click here to prepare the launch of your first crowdfunding campaign and start raising money for your business vision today.