I’ve had a slew of podcast interviews over the last few weeks, and virtually all of the hosts have asked me what I think is the necessary ingredient for continued business growth. I speak from a place of making mistakes, and from getting things right over the last 20 years.
The three things I believe companies need to survive are a market niche, relevancy, and a mindset of greatness. I’ve named them in order of difficulty.
Values dictate every major decision and action in an organization – from the clients that a company engages, to the people that a company hires, to seemingly simple behaviors such as leaving a door open or closed. Values determine our behavior when others are not around to watch us. They are the core of integrity – which manifests when values are integrated with our actions. Personally and professionally, they frame the most important aspects of who we are, and what matters to us.
One of my coaching clients called me this week, asking for advice on where to find a great sales rep. She’s launching a start-up that has been in the works for months, and is obviously anxious to get her product to the market. My advice to her was to look in the mirror. That’s where she would find her best sales rep.
There’s no disputing the fact that business is cut-throat. One day your most important strategic partner is bringing you into a great business opportunity. The next day, they are submitting a proposal to win business from your client. To sustain the ups and downs of career development and business growth, you require a thick skin. So how do we stay tough and protect our interests, while maintaining a mindset of abundance and compassion?
Personal development is not a tool for reaching a bigger goal. Instead, becoming a “complete human being is already the biggest and most noble goal you can aspire to.” Most of us are on a quest of continuous self-improvement, with the goal of attaining greater success. “If I attend this school, if I obtain this certification, if I achieve this milestone, then I will be able to attain another level of achievement.” The personal development is often tied to a desired outcome that moves us from one level to another.
I came across a compilation of 19 shoestring-budget strategies that will help you connect with your target audience without going broke – exactly what a small business needs to expand their presence and stay financially healthy.
Here are my suggestions to move these ideas to implementation.
1: Pick three out of the list and focus on them. If you try to tackle the entire list, you will do a mediocre or poor job for all of them. Then, once those are done, move to the next three. The greatest ideas fail at implementation because we bite off more than we chew.
2: Determine what you can outsource, and what you need to manage yourself. For example, if you decide to join a Chamber, you personally need to cultivate those relationships, so ensure you have enough time to be present in the organization. If you decide to write a blog, you need to build your editorial calendar and write your blogs, but can outsource the mechanics of posting and sharing.
As a small business owner, deciding how and where you will dedicate your very limited time is essential to your success.
3: Finally, if an idea isn’t working for you, pivot quickly. Drop the tactic and move on. It’s all about figuring out what works best for you at this point in time.
Here is the link to the complete presentation.
Here are the tips:
As much of the country is blanketed in snow and ice, this is a perfect time to pause… to take a deep breath, notice the beauty of our surroundings, and slow down. Yes, the snow wreaks havoc on our well-assembled plans. School is canceled, day-care is closed, meetings and appointments are pushed aside, our travel plans are either rescheduled or delayed.
Fortunately for most of us, however, the winter weather is nothing more than an inconvenience.
Two of my favorite things about the snow (besides snow angels) are the way it falls in solitude, and the visual effect it has on our landscape. Both of these gifts are actually deceptive, for beneath the snow lies Spring. While we are in the moment of the winter solstice, we shift focus away from the fact that just beneath our feet, and also just above our heads is growing grass and budding trees & flowers. Even in the stillness and solitude of a snowstorm, Spring life continues to push forward.
I had the privilege of speaking at the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC – www.nwboc.org) conference last week in Palm Beach, Florida. One of the highlights of the conference (where 200 women business owners came together to learn, share, and connect) was keynote Barbara Corcoran. Barbara is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. She took a $1,000 loan to start her real estate company, The Corcoran Group, which she grew into a $5 billion business. She sold the firm for $66 million in 2001.
Barbara is also a host and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank. During the last three seasons, she has bought 11 new businesses. She is also the author of three best-selling books, and is a regular small business and real estate contributor on all of the major networks.
Like all great entrepreneurs, Barbara’s journey to success has been filled with wonderful lessons. I have summarized them here for you.
February was a month of wins – and losses. Everyone talks about their wins, so I’m going to move right past those, and get to the topic that that leaders rarely glorify: the losses.
I was rejected in February by TED. TED stands for Technology, Engineering and Design. There are TED events all over the world that feature speakers that have ideas worth spreading. The TED website (www.ted.com) is my all-time favorite site because it opens our minds to so many ways of thinking about things we’ve never even thought about! It spotlights our greatest potential in any topic you can imagine.
My January small business segment on ABC’s Washington Business Report with Rebecca Cooper-Dupin focused on accountability and goal-setting strategies to start 2013 strong. Accompanying me was my accountability partner and personal financial advisor, Anne McCabe Triana, owner of CAM Private Wealth (http://www.camprivatewealth.com). I’ve expanded on those strategies here, incorporating many great ideas from other small business owners.