We would all like to be better entrepreneurs and business men. Unfortunately, there is no fairy godmother that is going to appear to make all those dreams come true. That is no reason to lose hope however. Success like most worthwhile things in life, can be learned, replicated, copied, and taught. That’s why mentors are so important! But even more significant about this trait of success is the fact that it means that the journey to being a successful business man can be boiled down to a few simple steps. Of course the journey is different for everybody-we are all different human beings in different circumstances. But with the tips outlined in this article, you should be able to benefit greatly. Following the tips outlined below should set you on the path to being better business person.
Love What You Do
Passion is what will keep you working at it long after the next person has gone to bed. Make no mistake; persistence is the true fuel of genius. To bring any business plan together, perseverance is key, and perseverance is fuelled by passion. A great way to love what you do is to do what you love. Confucius is credited for saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Build an enterprise around your heart. Before you ever decide what sort of business you want to set up, or the form it will take, you should have a very clear idea of the type of person you are, and the sort of activities that will hold your attention for days on end.
A West African saying sums this up nicely: Nobody tests the depth of a river with both feet. Take baby steps, as you start. Learn the business and get used to the climate. Success is very rarely achieved by jumping all in! There are always success stories of this sort, of course but these are the exceptions and not the rule. Risk management is essential, and balance is vital. It would be much easier to take the inevitable hits when you take smaller risks as opposed to larger ones. In this way, your losses and setbacks become valuable lessons and anecdotes rather than permanent timeouts.
Learn from Others
Learning from others is vital, especially from their mistakes. Have you ever wondered why it is so important to have a mentor? This is it. The world’s greatest investor, Warren Buffet, credits his famous saying to his own mentor, Benjamin Graham, “You gotta learn from mistakes. But they don’t have to be yours!” You can also learn from the success of others. Like we said above, success is replicable. How do you go about learning from others? Two simple ways, none of which should exclude the other:
- Get a Mentor: Having a mentor is like using a cheat code. It’s the ultimate road map! They have been there, they have done that, and now they are going to help you do same.
- Reading: Read, read, read again. Reading opens you up to so many ideas from a whole bunch of knowledgeable people you may never have otherwise met. If you have no access to a suitable mentor, then you can keep abreast of the playing field (and maybe even surpass it) by reading as much as you can about your subject of interest and other things in general-after all no knowledge is useless.
Be Flexible with Your Plan, Yet Persistent Towards Your Goal
First things first, you should have a business plan. If you don’t, then you really need to get one as fast as possible. Your business plan should incorporate everything including the modes of production, the available market, how you intend carving up your space in it and of course the competition in the area if there is any. It doesn’t have to be long, yet it has to be comprehensive.
You should be persistent about the goal your business plan hopes to achieve, but flexible as new ideas crop up and you learn more about the business. If you see things are not going according to plan, persist towards your goal of success by being flexible with your plan or approach. Know this: very few companies operate with the original plan they started out with. It’s a natural consequence of growing.
There are a few cases where people set out to do everything at once and end up being successful, for example Google. The fact that the level of success they enjoy is itself an abnormally when compared to many other businesses, should tell you that they do not make the typical case study. It is much better to focus on a few things which you can become really good at doing, rather than trying to juggle many things at once. This avoids wasted effort, focuses your resources, gives you confidence over time, and builds your reputation faster as an expert in your chosen niche.
Learn How to Self Promote
Bestselling author and businessman Robert Kiyosaki says, “To be a good business man you must learn how to sell.” As a business man, the first thing you have to learn how to sell is yourself and your ideals. You should learn how to be confident without appearing arrogant. The first marketing that any company benefits from comes from the founder himself. Learn how to share your vision in under 3 minutes without appearing too ‘salesy’. Practise how to give an effective elevator pitch; you never know where the next break is going to come from.
Build Your Rep
A great way to self-promote is by building your reputation and image. In fact, the better you do this the less you have to actively sell yourself and your skills. There are many ways to do this including maintaining a blog, volunteering your skills and time, and cultivating your professional image. Over time this builds confidence and trust in you as a professional.
Constantly Take Action
The life of an entrepreneur or business man can be daunting, allowing no days off, no sick leaves, no times off-at least in the beginning. In time you may get to lay back on your beach front house with the model of your dreams. Until that time though you have to keep moving forward; stay active and make use of all your opportunities. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it!
Build Your Dream Team
It is often said, “Rome was not built in a day”-well it was not built by only one person either. Don’t buy into the popular and ill-conceived idea that the entrepreneur is the lone wolf who, turning his back on society, effectively builds an empire from scratch. Don’t buy into the whole self-made man hype! Build team of trusted individuals who possess the skillsets that will see your dream come to reality. Treat them well and they will have your back when the chips are down. As a rule synergy trumps energy each and every time!
Execution Defines You
Unless you are the smartest man alive, it is most likely that somebody has tried doing what you are trying to accomplish. What would separate both of you is execution-the way you do what you do. Execution sets all the greatest endeavours apart from the pack, and it will separate yours as well for better or worse.
Experience in the field is crucial at this stage. The way you meet your customers should be defined by the realities on the ground, rather than by theories in your business plan. Be flexible, yet persistent, above all else and you should be a better business man in no time.
Do you have any ideas to share with us? Share your thoughts below!