When you start a business you may, at times, feel overwhelmed with all the different jobs you need to take on to be able to keep it running. Sometimes covering all the bases is exhausting, though, and many business owners will spread themselves too thin trying to carry all the weight. Maybe your business is 30 years along, maybe you are 30 days in to your journey… Regardless of where you are, there are two secrets of success you should be using to empower yourself to wear the many hats of a business owner without losing so much of your valuable personal time.
First and foremost, no one knows it all. No matter how long you have been in business, there are always new skills you will need to learn, new styles of advertising to utilize, new trends in the markets… There is such a variation between being the “face” of your business as well as the accountant, customer service, marketing guru, copy-writing master, on and on and on… you get the idea. If you are not willing or able to hire employees or source some of your needs out to another company right now, there are two incredibly valuable suggestions you should follow if you want to keep your business running smoothly and still have time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. While both of these secrets may not seem very hidden to you, I call them secrets because they are often ignored and often to the detriment of the business. These concepts go hand in hand to help you create a support system which is knowledgeable, invested in your success, accountable, and dependable.
Like I said, no matter what level you are at in your business prowess, there is always someone out there who knows more than you. Not even that, they know different than you. The first secret you need to follow is finding a mentor. Working with a skilled professional, or even just someone who has been at it longer than you, is a huge piece of your puzzle to mastering your business. If it wasn’t so important to have a “teacher” so to speak, then our schools would just hand you about 50 text books in 1st grade and tell you “Good luck”! Having the benefit of someone elses experience will not only teach you new skill sets, but as you open yourself to learning from them, your mind will begin to see problems and situations differently. You will begin to ask yourself different questions that may not have occurred to you before. You will feel more confident and capable when taking on daily challenges and you will find yourself needing less time to find a solution. Along with numerous other benefits to having a mentor, one of the most important is having someone to hold you accountable when you feel like you aren’t reaching your goals. A mentor will help to push you and you will strive for your best work, not just get it done.
For this same reason, having a team, the second secret, will also be of great benefit to you. Accountability is crucial in getting your goals met. If you can always just get it done when it is convenient, it is likely you will do exactly that. Having a team of like-minded and positive people will help to motivate you to accomplish tasks because there will be a group to “answer” to if you don’t. This may sound like a bad thing, but along the same analogy of school, if your teachers told you, “Get this done whenever it is convenient for you”, how many times would you have done it right away?
Of course, there are lots of people who will always finish tasks right away and it is these people, as a part of your team, that can help you learn to become more efficient by following their example. Maybe there are also people on the team that are always running behind or waiting until the last minute. Seeing the effects of certain behavior in another individual can be a powerful catalyst for change in your own practices. Of course, just like a mentor, if there is someone holding you accountable you are more likely to do your best work because you will want to show them the results. It feels good to be able to contribute to a group in some way, which is also a great way to learn confidence. If you have trouble speaking in large crowds, the group setting will help you become more comfortable in addressing several people at a time. You will be empowered with your own growth and also the collective growth of the team because success is contagious!! If you are lucky enough that your mentor is a part of your team, then you are unstoppable!
Teams, or mastermind groups, are also a tremendous way to brainstorm new ideas for your own business, and help other business owners do the same. You can all learn from each others success and failure moments, and also be there for support through the truly hard times which many of us have experienced during our time as business owners. Cross-promotions and collaboration will propel you into exciting new territories to offer your products or services. The networking opportunities can greatly assist you when choosing who to do business with locally. For example, maybe one of your team members is a plumber, one is an attorney, one is a web designer. You could benefit greatly by choosing to do business with members of your team because you know you can trust them to do their best work. If you are directly missing an element on your team, usually there is at least one person who knows a reputable business so you have the benefit of others’ experiences with collaboration.
A common misconception about running a business is that you must be a “Jack of all trades, but a master of none”, but having a mentor combined with a great team will allow you to master your craft and have the benefit of the mastery of others crafts as well.
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