Entrepreneurship can be difficult, but I am always amazed by the number of people who make it harder than it needs to be.
Here are 10 things you should never forget in business.
1. It’s just lip service until you…
Sign here, on the dotted line.
After the handshake and before you begin–put it in writing. In fact, put everything that impacts your company–in any way–in writing. Verbal contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on. It’s not only a professional and responsible way of doing business, it ensures you start and end very new endeavor on the right footing. Don’t let people tell you a contract is just a piece of paper. So is money and I’ve yet to see a dollar in the trash!
2. Build your business and a life
As you lay the foundation of your dreams don’t forget to design your life. Connect with other entrepreneurs, take a trip overseas, spend time in nature, help others, be true to your beliefs. Develop business goals and life goals.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative care nurse, recorded her patients epiphanies in the last 12 weeks of their lives in her book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Chief among them was this: ” I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
3. Seize your Kairos moment
It’s not always clear how days, events and opportunities connect to the bigger picture. But don’t let a lack of decisions rob you from powerful outcomes. Take full advantage of the opportunities set before you.
Seize your Kairos moment: the appointed time where opportunity is in plain view and decisive action is required of you. Trust your ability to make positive decisions. Gather facts, trust your instincts, seek wise counsel, keep emotions in check and act swiftly.
4. Revisit day one
It’s hard to keep things simple. However, the quickest route to simplicity is day one. Day one represents a time in business when you were figuring everything out. Think back to this place. You may have tried to re-invent the wheel or thought your way into limitations.
Whatever the case may be, take a solid look what you’ve learned since day one and simplify it. Day one has a tendency to linger; you find yourself doing things the same out-dated way. Instead, revisit day one and merge it with lessons learned. This approach will shorten learning curves and help you play a smarter long game.
5. Celebrate and get back to business
It feels good to win. But here’s the deal: throw a party, celebrate and get back to business. It’s easy to think success is measured in milestones–a destination. But in reality, success is a journey. Don’t celebrate your last victory so long that you fail to create new ones.
6. Life is a negotiation, ask for more
Never take a no from someone who doesn’t have the power to tell you yes. Rejection is a form of direction. More often than not, the person that tells you no is not qualified to tell you yes. As such, I spend very little time entertaining ‘no’ people. Courteously work with gatekeepers, but get to the decision makers quickly.
7. Make the cash flow
Cash flow–money in, money out–is the lifeblood of business. If you’re not keen on financial aspects of your business, sit down with a CPA or accountant and give your business a financial exam. Be aware of precisely what you spend, negotiate contracts with suppliers, employ cost-saving receivables practices and proactively create payment strategies that favor your business needs.
8. Work yourself out of your role
How easily would the daily operations of your company run if you took a sabatical? Effective leaders build companies that can operate successfully without them. Give your team the actionable knowledge they need–with defined processes and systems– and empower them to make decisions. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of inefficiencies brought about by a huge bottleneck–you.
9. Be thankful
Develop an attitude of gratitude in business. Whether you’ve raked in 10 sales or 1 million–be thankful. There are a number of would-be business owners that would gladly celebrate a mere portion of what you have obtained. Never take success for granted or become complacent.
10. Don’t major on minor things
Growing up my mom used to say, “Everything that’s important isn’t necessarily urgent.” I didn’t quite understand this until I became an entrepreneur. She was referring to the”Eisenhower Principle” which suggests that we all have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.
Urgent things require our immediate attention, make us reactionary, defensive, hurried, and narrowly-focused. Important things contribute to our long-term mission. Sometimes important tasks are also urgent, but typically they’re not. In a nutshell, spend time on things that are important and not just what seems urgent.
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