Small business owners seem to have a unique edge that gives them a competitive advantage over others. Many wonder if their abilities are innate or just simply acquired through experience. The truth that I’ve come to discover is this: the factors that come into play for success are not task oriented where they are checked off a to-do list, but rather they exist in principle and in practice. Success isn’t found by completing tasks and objectives, success is found by the way you live and act.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to converse with a man who started and raised his own small business to a multi-million dollar corporation. In our conversation, I raised this question to him: “What are the top three principles or attributes that have helped you become successful?”
He then responded “do you mind if I give you five things?”
Who would deny an offer to obtain more wisdom?! So of course I said yes… Here is his response (paraphrased):
1.) Be resilient – Strengthen your perseverance
“There are things in life and in business that will knock you around and cause you to stumble. Sometimes giving up might look like the best option. But knowing that everything is on the line, including your family, your mind will kick into another gear to pull you together. These are the times that will stretch you and grow you into a version of yourself that is much better, stronger, wiser, more productive, and more efficient. Persevere and don’t give up.”
2.) Invest in yourself
“Every day when you wake up, ask yourself “what am I doing to better myself and who I am as a person?” if you don’t have an answer, find one and fulfill it. Always be looking to increase your knowledge, skills, capabilities and talents. When you invest in yourself, your returns will come natural and consistent.”
3.) Run your business and life with integrity and respect
“This is perhaps one of the most essential. Never neglect to show respect to anyone and everyone. If you treat others how you desire to be treated, your life will be profitable to you in more ways than one. Your reputation and character will speak for itself. As a Christian, hold true to your faith and be grounded in your beliefs.”
4.) Be teachable and never think you’re done learning
“The worst thing you could do to yourself is become complacent. Complacency has caused countless businesses and people to fail. Never think that your brain has reached its max capacity of learning, because it never will. Always apply yourself and learn as much as you can. Knowledge and experience is an endless line of equity you have with yourself, and it is always available for use. Humble yourself before others and learn from them, you will be shocked at how positively this practice will change your life and the way people treat you.”
5.) Surround yourself with successful people
“I’ve always had a mentor or someone who is constantly filling my life with wisdom and example. These people helped to guide me down the right path and make the right decisions. The theory that you become those who you hang around with is usually true. So take inventory of your network and perhaps spend some time improving it.”
I hope you find these responses as insightful and impacting as I did! A big thank you and appreciation to the interviewee for taking the time to answer my question and having this conversation with me. I am glad I can share it with you so that you too can apply these principles to your life.
Cheers & God Bless