How to be grateful while creating your business. It is easy to expect success as if being successful was a right instead of a privilege and a gift. That’s today’s discussion because it’s not a topic that most people think about. Do you?
The problem with expecting to succeed is that, without more, the self-absorption of that expectation can slowly and subtly poison everything around you, including your business. True success is earned and when it arrives it should be, and needs to be, accompanied by a stirring sense of gratitude.
What Is Gratitude?
This gratitude is not simply about being grateful for what you have achieved. It is about being grounded enough in the moment of success to remember and recognize everyone who helped you get to this particular time and place. Without this grounded gratefulness any success is lessened and will, in all likelihood, be fleeting. Now you don’t want that do you?
Are You Obligated?
So how do you repay those how helped you in achieving your goals? Well, obviously, acknowledging those individuals and sharing the benefits of your success with them is a great place to start.
Yet, above and beyond taking care of your nearest and dearest, you also need to “pay it forward” by becoming a mentor and helper to others who are currently on their own journey towards success.
Think about how you can collaborate with someone else in order to further their efforts. See if you can contribute in some way to their projects. This contribution doesn’t have to be monetary.
The Ways You Can Provide Gratitude
Advice and the wisdom of experience are often far more valuable than cold cash.
This gratitude can extend even further. There are people who are currently helping you every day that you may not see as mentors. Your customers are among these people. Without them, success becomes impossible.
Take the time to let them know how important they are. Your vendors are also equally important. Yes, they provide you with materials that you pay them for, but a truly grounded and grateful attitude would also recognize each of them for the critical element they play in your business.
Look outside the box and you’ll see that success is not a solo effort, it’s a team sport. Where is your team? Have you thanked them lately?
Networking and connecting in business are super important. Just as in life, you can’t go it alone. It’s said that none of us are islands, but if we were, each of us would form a vast and interconnected archipelago. Bridges and boats would stream traffic between all these islands and that traffic is largely information. If you cut yourself off from this flow of information, either purposely or by mistake, you do so at your own peril.
Why is it so important to make connections with other business owners? This topic of networking and connecting comes up often so why is it so important?
Here’s one reason why. If you don’t, the island next to you is going to make those connections you’re making and the information they provide and use it to his or her advantage. What are am I even talking about? Let me explain in further detail below.
Why You Should Network
Networking is an essential element of every successful business. It provides you with contacts, leads, clients, partners, suppliers, and much more. It will carry your name and your business reputation farther and more efficiently than most advertising will. Most importantly, it is an endless source of profit, ideas, collaboration, and support.
The IFS and the BUTS
If you are networking, you should do more. If you’re not networking, you need to start. If you don’t network, your business will stagnate and die. But why should I do this you might ask? Aren’t people just going to find me online searching for me? After all, I have a website! Ha…so does everyone else!
When you’re networking you need to keep a couple of important points in mind.
First, every social or professional engagement can provide you with an opportunity to network. There’s often nothing more formal about it than an exchange of information and follow-up connection. Remember, as a business owner you’re always “on the clock”, so to speak. Be ready to take advantage of a potentially lucrative networking situation should the opportunity arise.
Second, when you are networking, treat people naturally, the way you’d want to be treated. Offer no-strings advice. Often solving a problem for free generates more long-term profit than the cost of the advice or service. Also, listen more than you talk. Silence really can be golden when you take the time to hear what another person is saying.
Finally, always remember that honesty is the best policy. Don’t promise something that you cannot produce. Don’t be someone you’re not in order to close a deal. Be yourself and watch those connections grow!
Connections & Business Collaborations
Networking and connecting with other business owners gives you the opportunity to collaborate with others also. You never know what you might teach each other or you might just find someone you can partner up with. Some of the most interesting aspects of your business might be just around the corner. So, remember that when you’re connecting with others.
Today we’re discussing creating focus and endurance in your business. You might ask why you need these two things. Well, if you really want to succeed in your business, this is what it’s going to take.
In any activity or endeavor, it is important to build endurance. Endurance can be defined as the ability to focus on the task at hand and bring it successfully to a conclusion. Some call it fortitude, others call it strength or stamina.
No matter what you call it though, endurance is the ability to persevere and get the job done, no matter what. Do you have what it takes?
Usually, when we speak of endurance, we’re referring to physical activity. Yet, endurance is as important in the business world as it is anywhere else.
Focus & Concentration
In business circles, endurance usually takes the form of focus. Instead of physical prowess, it becomes the ability to concentrate successfully on a given task. Focus is a critical skill set for any business owner. Especially in today’s fast-paced world where success often means keeping several equally important balls in the air at one time.
So, how do you focus on multitasking, a situation where, by its very definition, several things are happening at once?
Well, the key to successful focus is attention. When several things are happening simultaneously, you need to concentrate on only one thing at a time. This doesn’t mean that you bring one task to full completion before you start on another.
Rather, you spend just enough time on a given task to take it to the next stage of development. Then you turn your attention to another task.
In some sense, it’s a little like being a mother duck with ducklings. You give your attention to the duckling that is farthest out of line, nudging it forward to where it should be before you turn your attention to the next little duck. Each duckling gets a measure of your focus, but none gets your full attention all the time.
In this way, each task gets moved along in turn, and all are successfully completed in time.
How are you doing with your focus and endurance? Are you doing what is necessary? Or are you finding yourself all over the place and overwhelmed?
Maybe it’s time for you to think about 1×1 mentoring sessions to help you figure the necessary steps to take to decrease your overwhelm. I would love to help you if you are struggling with your focus.
Cultivate Your Creative Muscles
Creativity can be elusive. It’s not something that you can summon at will. But, I certainly wish it would sometimes don’t you? Today we’re discussing how to cultivate your creative muscles to further your business success.
When creativity happens, it strikes like lightning. Like an explosion! Yet, like lightning, it can be maddeningly unpredictable. However, because creativity is an essential element of a successful business mindset, it is necessary to understand the creative process. And how you, the business owner, can cultivate your own creative juices. So how do you do that?
The Creative Process
No one ever wakes up and says “Hey! Today I’m going to be creative.” Would that be true for you or not?
Creativity is all about taking in a lot of influences and letting those influences combine, ferment and morph in your subconscious. Together, they form a sort of mental potting soil where new and different ideas have a chance to germinate and grow. The more things you learn, read, see and hear the more creative soil you are able to produce. Kinda sounds just like gardening, don’t you think?
Why Be Creative?
Be clever, innovative, and definitely think outside the box. As a business owner who wants to be creative, the best thing you can do is get out there in the world and open yourself up to new experiences. Be curious about many different things. It’s very natural to do this.
Do the unexpected.
The more you push your own personal envelope the more you are charging your own creative batteries. When those batteries are charged, it is much more likely that inspiration will strike. Be inspired by what you create.
Creativity Pushes You To Think Outside The Box
What other types of creativity can you think of to become successful? Maybe work on your content for your business. Make pretty graphics in Canva or whatever you use to make graphics. Stretch your imagination and create some unique items for your business.
There are so many things you could do, you just need to try things out. Use your imagination, daydream but most of all, just try different things out.
If you cultivate your creative muscles, you will find yourself energized and enthused to continue creating your successful business.
Who knows where that new idea will take you?
Are You Taking Responsibility?
This one is fairly straightforward. Are you taking responsibility in business for both the good and the bad? What does that even mean? That’s our topic for discussion today.
Let Me Tell You a Story
President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said “The buck stops here”. What he meant by that was, as President, he did not have the option to pass the buck when it came to mistakes or failure. He was the boss and the buck stopped right there. “What does that have to do with my business?” I can hear you say that pretty clearly.
That’s pretty smart advice for any business owner who wants to be more successful. When it comes to the results of decisions you make, don’t pass the buck.
Everyone is happy to take credit for a successful outcome; as well they should if they were directly responsible for that success. That’s the easy part. The hard part is owning up to your own mistakes.
Now This is The Hard Part – The Guilt
Taking responsibility in business means it’s up to you. There is somewhat of an inclination to try and blame someone or something else for a negative outcome. The most successful people fight that inclination and accept the blame for their mistakes as readily as they accept congratulations for their successes.
They do so because they realize that being the captain of the ship means that all decisions start and end with you. Am I right? Don’t be that one business owner that suffers from guilt.
Making Decisions About Responsibility
If you happen to make a bad decision then you own that fact, tighten your belt, and move forward armed with the knowledge to never repeat that mistake again. This is a part of the process of growth. It is a process that demonstrates that the greatest opportunity arises from failure.
By avoiding the repercussions of that failure, you also avoid the opportunity to grow as a leader and learn from your own mistakes. In other words, you condemn yourself to make that same mistake over and over. Yikes!
So, if and when you are faced with a bad business situation of your own making, don’t pass the buck.
The buck stops with you. Accept that and move on.