10 April 2016
What would you say if I told you that every person in business can succeed?
I don’t believe that a certain percentage of people have to fail in business. I believe that everyone in business can succeed.
It’s simple really.
Whilst you might think that I am oversimplifying things, I have learned that with the right discipline and focus, you can achieve anything in your life.
I am often asked what my tips for growing a business are, daily on social media, so here is a roundup of the advice that I offer budding entrepreneurs, growing startups and people making their way in the world. If you have any other tips to add, please comment and share them. Business is all about collaboration and learning from each other.
You could read this blog today and map out your life, and know that you’re going to nail the next 20 years and be a success in business. Anyone who has read any of my posts before will know just how much I value goal setting; I firmly believe that if you write a goal down, there’s nothing that will stop you from achieving it.
Focus is essential. There’s no point in setting a goal if you aren’t focussed on achieving it. There are so many distractions in modern life; you could easily waste a whole day flicking through social media channels. But that’s not what makes successful businesses. Commit to your goals, commit to your business and remove the distractions that will lead you off course.
You don’t need all of the reams of funding to create a business. It seems to be a trend at the moment to pitch for funding in the extremely early days of a business. For me, at that point, you should be focussing on acquiring customers, on growing your brand and honing your product – not on getting more money to skip a few steps. We were extremely frugal in the early days of UKFast, often living off porridge for a week at a time just to ensure we could pay the bills. Look at the car that you drive, look at the holidays you’re taking – if either of these are extravagant whilst you’re pitching for funding to kickstart your business, I think you need to reassess your priorities.
Follow your heart, not your competitors
How can you be different if you’re just following what they do? Yes, keep an eye on the competition but don’t become so entrenched in watching them that you’re distracted from where your heart tells you to lead your business.
I learned this lesson from the British Cycling team. They broke down every part of riding a bike, every single aspect and made tiny, incremental, 1% improvements to them. Added together these 1% changes have a huge impact. It certainly did for British Cycling, they went on to dominate the 2012 Olympic Games, taking home 70% of the gold medals available! These marginal gains push you to focus on what you can improve and to always evolve.
I believe that we meet people for a reason; whether we know that reason at the time or not. You never know who you may cross paths with later down the line, whose help you may need or who may need your help. You can certainly never guess what’s over the next hill and it is certainly better to face whatever that may be with plenty of allies.
It is all too easy to make enemies, to burn bridges and hold grudges in business. It is inevitable that someone will step on your toes, or you on theirs at some point. The value of these interactions comes from turning them into a positive, into making friends rather than enemies. It’ll feel better in the long run than the buzz of short-term revenge.
Take time for yourself
Last but by no means least, it is essential to stop. To pause, to step back, to take time for yourself. Whether that’s with a holiday, or taking time out three times a week to go for a run, to sit and read a book. You can’t run a healthy business if you are not healthy yourself. The most important part of being successful in business, is looking after your own wellbeing first.
If you have any other tips to add, please comment and share them. Business is all about collaboration and learning from each other.