Of course you can be successful in business. You can live the life that you want. You can make it big, make huge profits, and create employment for many, many people, while having the time of your life. However, running a business comes with a responsibility. And it’s only if you learn and adopt the seven habits described below that you can actually, have the business you want, and live the life you want.
Habit 1: Cultivate Inner Networks
As an entrepreneur, your ability to build and sustain networks is a critical ingredient in your business achieving true success. No doubt, networks are a powerful source of bringing business your way. To get the support that you need, and assistance where you need it, and business referrals, is one of the keys to ensuring that you can have get a constant flow of business your way. So, invest time in attending networking meetings within your area of expertise, and building relationships with people you’d like to do business with.
Habit 2: Customer Centric
Ever heard of the saying, the customer is king? Basically, you need customers to buy your products and/or your services. This means you need to first understand your customers and their requirements, cultivate a commitment towards them, and ensure that you exceed their expectations. By demonstrating that you have the interests of the customers at heart, you will gain their loyalty. Remember, your business is about solving customer’s problems and it’s not about you.
Habit 3: Humble Honesty
Knowing and understanding your areas of strengths and weaknesses is a big plus for you to become successful in your business. Knowing your strengths means you can capitalise on them to overcome your weaknesses, but most importantly, you will be able to identify which areas you need to focus on to improve yourself so that you can provide better and great service to your customers. Even better, it means you can identify other people that you can partner with who can bring in the strengths that you don’t have. You cannot be everything to everyone. Focus on what you know, and what you can do. The rest, outsource.
Habit 4: Adaptability
Ever heard of the saying, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray’? The world is unpredictable and market conditions rule the economy. Things change within the split of a second. Your ability to adapt quickly to ever changing market conditions will ensure your business success. This means having the agility and ability to act when required. Having flexibility allows you to respond to changes without being paralysed by fear and uncertainty.
Habit 5: Opportunity Focused
Looking at problems and challenges as opportunities for improvement and innovation provides you with a platform to continuously be TOMA (top of the mind awareness) for your customers. What I mean is that if you identify problems as opportunities, you will always be at the top of your customer’s minds because they will have the comfort that you have the solution to their problems. So, do not focus on problems – focus on what opportunities those problems are presenting to you and your business.
Habit 6: Finding a Better Way
Making learning the focus of your business. Make a habit of always finding better ways to make your business productive. Create an infrastructure that will allow you to be productive – ensure you have the right technology, ensure you outsource what you cannot do, and ensure you have seamless business process that will ensure smooth customer service. When you have this infrastructure in place, this will give you the time to focus on things that really matter for your business – the things that drive sales and revenue, and the things that bring customers to you.
Habit 7: Balanced Lifestyle Management
Being an entrepreneur and running your business is always a lonely road, and involves a lot of hours, which negatively impacts on your life – you focus less on your family, your social life, your community responsibilities and everything else. If you are not careful, you will be consumed by all of this and one day, you will emerge and find everything that you cared for no longer exists. So, make sure that you create and maintain balance in your life. Make a clear distinction and prioritise your life and your activities according to their area of importance. Never neglect your family. Make planning a central part of your life. After all, you are in business not only to make money, but also to improve your life and the lives of those who depend and look up to you, and to ultimately, enjoy what you are doing. Do that!
My challenge to you? It really is that simple. Focus. Apply your mind. Take responsibility. Exercise discipline.
‘Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.’ Mary Kay-Ash
This article is an adaptation of the original article written by Darrel Zahorsky in About.com. You can view the full article here: