Success in Managing or Running a Business
In this section, I will provide you with tips for achieving success in business. It doesn’t matter whether you own a business, want to own a business, or play an important managerial role, there are certain traits and habits that you can adopt that will determine whether or not you can be successful in the long term.
Principle #1 – Stop Complaining
Whenever it comes to success and business, the best place to start is by committing yourself to not complaining. Of course, it is perfectly fine to raise concerns, to question dubious choices, and to remain thoughtful and analytical at all times.
However, needless and persistent complaining generally accomplishes nothing positive. To the contrary, it drags you down, reflects poorly on you, and can transform otherwise productive co-workers into cynical, whining unproductive co-workers.
In short, focus on solving problems, not complaining that they cannot be solved.
Principle #2 – Strive to Reach Your Full Potential
One of the things that prevents many people from achieving the best possible outcome is complacency. Once they begin to do well at something in business—be it advertising, inspiring employees, or something else—they take a miniature mental vacation.
That is—instead of ratcheting things up further, they let things play out and contribute nothing additional. The usual end result of this is generally not positive.
So, instead of being complacent, push hard to reach your full potential at every turn.
Principle #3 – Limit Your Use of Short-Cuts
Of course, some short cuts are a good thing. If you can find a way to go from point A to point B in half of the time and there is no downside to the new route, then you should of course take it.
But in many instances in business, we do face tradeoffs. For instance, we might be able to cut costs by not giving employees a raise, but as a result, they might become disgruntled and intentionally shirk their duties.
So, in general, limit your use of short cuts. But if you see one that’s good and doesn’t appear to have a downside, then seize it, but do so.
Principle #4 – Be a Continuous Learner
People have different learning styles. Some learn all the time; and find ways to incorporate that learning into their lives as they go. These people are continuous learners.
On the other hand, most of us learn in discrete chunks. For instance, we might find out how to use a new software program, but immediately after doing so, we will cease to learn anything new about it until it is absolutely necessary.
In general, those who learn in discrete chunks often find themselves at a serious disadvantage, as they often neglect to learn many important new things about products, people, and tools they interact with on a daily basis.
So try to be a continuous learner. It may be difficult, but you’ll be happy you made the switch.
Principle #5 – Always Have a Plan – Even if You Don’t Use It
Some people serially-plan their lives. For each minute of the day, they have something scheduled. Like clockwork, their days play out with very few unforeseen events.
Initially, you might think this sounds boring and inspiring, but in business, it is the status quo among those who are most successful. And remember, even if you don’t opt to use your plan, at least you will have the option to do so.
Principle #6 – Don’t Dwell on the Past
It’s impossible to go throughout a career without hitting a number of bumps in the road. No matter how hard you try, no matter how thoughtful you are, you are bound to hit snags in the road.
And when you do hit those snags, your reaction to them will forever influence your capacity for success. You can either learn from them, move on, and continue on your career; or you can harp on them for weeks, months, or even years—allowing them to drag you down at every step of the way.
No matter how bad your failure was, it’s over. All you can do now is work carefully to improve your future prospects.
Principle #7 – Give Up When It’s Wise to Do So – Not When it Is Convenient
Most people give up for reasons of convenience. They hit a nasty snag in their career; and they simply cannot find a way to propel themselves forward immediately, so they just give up.
Instead of backing off, consulting a colleague, and then heading back to the problem with a refreshed and nuanced perspective, they give up before they give the scenario the chance to play out. As a result, they deny themselves the opportunity to fight back and succeed.
Principle #8 – Listen to Those Around You
One common trait among those who are successful is that they listen and understand others. Instead of seeing everyone around them as inferior fools with nothing to contribute, they understand that most good ideas come from other people—not from them. If you want to be successful, too, you should follow this practice carefully in your daily business relations.
Principle #9 – Have Patience
One of the most common traits among those who are successful in business is patience. Those who don’t have patience always find themselves trapped in the plans of those who do have it. So, do yourself a favor, and cultivate patience. Be the trapper—not the trapped.
Principle #10 – Don’t Settle
In some cases, you will find that the deck is stacked against you and your plans; you will simply have to settle with the best you can get. But in most situations, this simply isn’t the case. So don’t find reasons to settle when you don’t have to. Instead, push hard and persistently for the best you can get.
Principle #11 – Create Opportunities—Don’t Wait for Them
Many people who have not achieved success in business are under the impression that opportunities arrive passively. All they have to do is wait for one to show up on the front door; and then grab it. But, in fact, successful business owners and managers know that opportunities are usually created, not stumbled over. So make an effort to create opportunities in your daily work.
Principle #12 – Keep the Big Picture in Mind, But Stay Focused on the Short Term Process
The big picture is important. It tells you where you are and where you’re going. However, in some situations, it can distract you from the task at hand. If you want to attain true success, then you have to know how to stay focused and effective on short-term problems, while also working within the greater framework of the big picture.