I spend a lot of time reading articles and books written by successful business owners to learn from them. After all, if they share their wisdom, maybe a little of that success will rub off on me! Here are some of their nuggets of wisdom that you can learn a lot from.
Relationships Matter. A Lot.
You know that networking is important, but when you get busy, it gets moved to the back burner. But extraordinary entrepreneurs make the time to connect with others because they know those relationships are the cornerstone of their business.
Nurturing those relationships isn’t about walking into a networking event and spraying your business card around. It’s about sending a link to a contact for an article you think he would enjoy. Inviting a colleague to coffee to catch up. It’s about spending time with the people you’ve met in your business endeavors and really listening to them. If sales or referrals will come from it, it’s not going to be because you pushed your agenda; they’ll come because people being to trust you and want to help you.
You’re Never Done.
So you’re the #1 company selling whangdoodles in your town. That’s great. But will you be #1 tomorrow? It’s important to never rest on your laurels and constantly strive to find innovation in your company.
Both companies and products become extinct. Just look at Kodak, who once was king of film. Once its products died off, the company struggled to find a foothold in a changing market. Better to constantly adapt and innovate than to have that much bigger of a hill to climb once you tumble down.
You Need to Be Able to Accept Criticism…and Act On It.
No one likes being criticized. No one. And yet it’s a part of being a business owner. Your customers will tell you what’s wrong with your product. Your employees will tell you what’s wrong with your company culture. You can choose to act on these comments or ignore them. Just realize that the path you choose will determine your business’s future potential.
This is a Lifelong Journey.
You may not have seen your business as one that you’d be doing for the rest of your life when you first started it, but it’s quite possible that you will be a lifer when it comes to entrepreneurship. Whether that’s through a single business or multiple endeavors, you’ve got to face the fact that you may never be an employee again. For most of us, that’s great news. But it’s imperative that you see the big picture (and long game) and make your decisions accordingly.
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