Have you heard the old joke about overnight success that has been going on for ten years or more? Anyone who has started a business knows this to be true. Think of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Although they have now achieved great recognition for their business acumen, they were once common men. No paparazzi were following them, and they certainly weren’t carrying tickets for the space. However, they persevered and ended up at the top of the corporate food pyramid.
As an entrepreneur, you may feel like it’s a decade long to finally earn the respect of your peers. Also, by the time you are ten years older, you may not be any closer to success than you were. That is a fair assessment and a fear. However, the years will pass whether you take risks or not. So you could also achieve your dreams.
In the process, however, you don’t want to leave your chance of winning the jackpot to chance. Instead, you want to put yourself in a position to attract success like a magnet. How? Incorporate these strategies into your work and personal life.
1. Get control of your mind.
Author and serial entrepreneur Mark Lachance talks about the idea that luck is a powerful force that you can harness The formula of luck. In fact, luck is a great asset if you are hell-bent on being successful. But as Lachance explains, it doesn’t happen until you master your internal and external conditions. I especially want to focus on the first one.
Too many founders allow other people to get into their heads. Those people could be well-meaning naysayers, like a spouse. Or they could be envious or spiteful, like an angry former co-worker. When you allow other people to control your thoughts and feelings, you are less able to make clear and pragmatic decisions.
Lachance writes that people who are influenced by others rarely experience luck or success. However, how do you stop giving other people free space in your brain? It takes an effort to start thinking for yourself. First, you need to know your goals and gather as much information as you can about the topics you are learning. Next, you must be flexible on most topics and be willing to be firm on others. Finally, you have to practice the art over and over again. Over time, you will find that you can tap into your intelligence with greater ease and confidence.
2. Hire talented professionals and let them do their thing.
Most of us have been under the control of a boss who could not delegate. As a TLNT article reveals, nearly 60% of workers admit that they had had the kind of manager who just couldn’t let go. So while you may claim that you would never micromanage, you may be surprised how quickly you can change your mind.
For example, at the first sign of danger to your business, you may want to step in and take charge. After all, you assume that your people, even the high performers you respect and admire, may not have the same passion as you. That’s where you go wrong. If you empower and trust the people you’ve put on the payroll, you have a better chance of getting through the ups and downs.
Is it hard to sit back and watch when you feel like you should be doing something? You can bet on it. However, your business will be successful if you act as a mentor rather than an ogre. If you’re not sure how to adopt a coach mentality, Gallup has some ideas. These include giving ongoing feedback, explaining why something needs to be done, and handing over ownership of projects. Over time, your employees and colleagues will appreciate that you have faith in them, and many will exceed your expectations.
3. Take care of your physical and mental health.
Burnout is a real problem, especially among business leaders and owners. A Wall Street Journal article written in early 2021 suggests that around a third of workers may have or have suffered from the condition. You cannot allow yourself to get to the point of experiencing so much stress that you are completely exhausted in your position.
Remember, however, that burnout is not just having a few stressful days or even weeks. It is a constant and annoying state that presents itself differently in different people. Some get incredibly depressed. Others just “take a look”. Many will find it difficult to check off even the most mundane items on their daily to-do lists.
You will certainly be a busy person as a founder. However, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to destroy your health. Plus, when your team sees that you never take a day off, they get anxious: Should they do the same? Are you modeling behaviors that you expect them to follow? This can cause serious communication disconnections within your organization.
Consequently, your best option is to work hard but do good for your health. The top health staples you shouldn’t skip are eating right, getting good sleep, and exercising. Go on a family vacation. You’ll be more refreshed and ready when you get back to the routine.
4. Look on the bright side.
Failures happen. Some are small. Some are big. Some are momentous. Once they occur, the past cannot be changed. However, you can learn from it. You can also use it as a learning moment to help your team members see how to make different decisions in the future.
Don’t worry: you don’t have to wear pink glasses or do your best Pollyanna impression. It is reasonable to feel dejected by mistakes. You can show your disappointment and anger. The trick is not to insist on it.
When bad things come your way, solve them and then do a flashback. Take a tip from agile project management principles that encourage constant review of everything. And never assume that what seems like failure today cannot lead to an “Aha!” morning. Most successful entrepreneurs can talk about the long lines of failures from their past. Their ability to go beyond setbacks helped them reach their goals and achieve success.
5. Establish a strong and well-defined work culture.
When you build a business from your vision, you have a unique opportunity to develop the culture you want. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs simply assume that the culture will build itself. It will, but it probably won’t be the nirvana you envisioned when it first opened.
Right now, employers around the world are having trouble finding and keeping superstars. A strong and engaging workplace culture will help you woo and acquire the best candidates. But of course the culture aspect is up to you and perhaps your executive team members. However, you should know that recent studies show that almost half of all professionals want to work in a place where they can be themselves.
Are you worried that your culture is already heading into toxic territory? You can break out of a nosedive fast. Start by collecting feedback from current members of your team. Find out how they feel about their work environment. Then use your answers to make improvements. Success is next to impossible if your workers don’t want to go to the office or log on to their computers. On the other hand, if your culture is irresistible, your employees will rave online, with customers, and with their friends.
6. Do the right thing for your customers.
The customer doesn’t always have to be right in order for you to “do the right thing” for the customer. Without customers, you couldn’t stay in business. Therefore, treat your buyers like gold. Anticipate your needs. Smooth out your clumsy sales processes. Create loyalty programs that are something special.
Need inspiration to accelerate your customer focus? A couple of years ago, Forbes put together an article on 100 companies that provide the right customer service every time. The list reads like a who’s who of successful brands: Warby Parker. Best Buy. Hilton. In each case, the company has invested tons of time and effort to captivate buyers from start to finish.
Be honest with yourself: Are your customer interactions as impressive as they could be? Do your team members have decision-making authority (within financial and operational parameters) to serve customers? Making any improvements will take your organization a long way. Who knows? The next time you complete a list of 100, your business could be on it.
7. Keep improving your skills.
He started a company because he was an expert at something. Manufacture of bicycles. Digital advertising. Veterinary Medicine. Although you should keep pushing yourself to become an expert in your industry, you can’t be afraid to branch out. Branching will keep you agile. It can also reveal ways you can evolve your business in exciting ways.
Imagine someone who started a business in 2000 and refused to learn anything about social media or online advertising. That person would not be running a successful company. So try to stay on top of the newest aspects of the business. While you don’t need to be very knowledgeable about everything, you should have a working knowledge of emerging technologies, competitive news, and possibilities.
Of course, you shouldn’t keep improving and retraining yourself. Instead, make learning a team sport by coaching your team. Employees appreciate when they are paid to develop their skills and develop their resumes. With the experience they gain, they can bring concepts to the table and fuel their brand momentum.
Success is not something that can only happen to everyone else. It is within your reach. You just have to stretch a little to grab it and take it to you and your company.
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