When defining success as an entrepreneur, it’s a fact that there are no shortcuts to how it can be achieved. It differs with the phase you are in and the goals you’ve set to achieve. Some will say the number of employees in a company is the real measure of success while others will say it’s the impact you achieve. It’s clear the definition of success varies and is determined by various factors.
Here’s how entrepreneurs and business owners increase the likelihood of success.
#1- Becoming the person I need to be
People who have the kind of success I dream about have a healthy morning routine that sets them up to win their day every day. I've known for a long time that in order for me to up-level, I need to commit myself to getting up early and designing my day. But here was my problem: I've never been a morning person. I kept repeating to myself that narrative as an excuse for why I couldn't be the person I needed to become to have the success I want. And for the longest time, my day started in a chaotic way – most often getting woken up by my kids. Then I read the book Miracle Morning, by Hal Enrod. It motivated me to ditch my excuse and become the morning person I need to be to have the success I want. Now I get up an hour earlier and meditate, review my affirmations, visualize how I want my day to go and journal. On certain days, I also exercise. It gets me in the right mindset and helps me stay purposeful, motivated, and focused. And it all came down to a choice that was available to me all along.
Thanks to Lauren Cohen, Lauren Cohen Coaching, LLC!
#2- Running a business like a hotel
The best piece of business advice I would give to increase the likelihood of success is all businesses should be run like a hotel. Whatever rooms you didn’t sell last night you will never get back no matter how many rooms you sell tomorrow. Meaning you should never leave anything you can do today for tomorrow. I have learned throughout my career to finish everything I could before I went home, never leaving it for the next day.
Thanks to Jonathan Bass, Whom Home!
#3- Hard work
We all hear the fabled work smarter not harder, but it doesn't matter how smart you are because if you don't combine it with hard work then you'll never be truly successful. The 4-hour workweek is for lazy people, plain and simple. People who run their own companies or want to climb the corporate ladder have to put the hard yards in – plain and simple. Success is so much sweeter when people appreciate how much hard work they put into it.
Thanks to Lucas Robinson, Crediful!
#4- Dedicating time to yourself before jumping into the workday
Waking up an hour earlier in the morning and setting aside time for physical exercise, followed by a 10/15 minute meditation practice has truly been transformative for my productivity levels as well as my mental and physical health. I follow my workout and meditation with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. I like to enjoy the time I have to myself and be present whilst eating, resisting the urge to be on my phone or use any technology. I have been following this rule for years and share it with everyone because it is so simple and easy to implement yet so significant when it comes to productivity and overall success.
Thanks to Ashwin Sokke, WOW Skin Science!
#5- I stop running after success
I concentrate on the process. In this era, we are habituated to a lifestyle of instant gratification. You must understand that nothing happens in an instant. Every great process is long, meandering, and messy. It can get tough at times as well. But you have to believe in the process. The small steps that you take every day. Every hour of hard work. Every minute of tenacity. Every second of patience could lead to your definition of success.
Thanks to Kenny Trinh, Netbooknews!
The more likely you believe in your own ability to succeed, the more likely it is that you will is a famous theory I have lived by for many years as it all starts with you. You cannot expect others to root for you or believe in you if you yourself are doubting. In addition to believing in yourself, you need to have a drive. Why do you want to achieve that goal? Knowing your reason why behind it all helps give you that drive you need that will push you to success.
Thanks to Lucy Reyes, Cheers to Life Blogging!
#7- Having an ambitious but realistic and well-thought-out plan
I run an e-commerce social enterprise. In my experience, you can increase the likelihood of success by having an ambitious but realistic and well-thought-out plan and then committing to do the work required by your plan. While success may sometimes appear to be luck to outsiders, the reality is that success is the result of planning and hard work. When embarking on the planning process, it is important to formulate a realistic plan, while still being ambitious. A plan that is unrealistic or too pie in the sky will be difficult to perform, and will likely result in failure. Once you have an ambitious but realistic plan, make sure you take the steps necessary to follow the plan. A great plan, while an essential component to success, is worth nothing without follow-through. As the saying goes, success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. In this case, 10% of the work goes into your plan, and 90% goes into following through with it.
Thanks to Jenna Green, Moscow Muled!
#8- Hiring people who have your back
When I was starting out, I didn't have the budget to hire a single employee. I was working 60+ hours a week, and it was extremely tough to balance business and family. But as soon as I had a bit of extra income, hiring someone to help was the first thing I did. I learned that it's not possible to complete every task myself. At some point as entrepreneurs, we have to scale our businesses to meet growth. And very often, that means hiring people who have your back. Today, I still heavily invest my team, and having their support means I can focus on aspects of the business that are most critical to net income. Also, with a team, collaboration and brainstorming are possible, which can fuel and inspire more growth. While labor expenses make up a significant portion of my income statement, my revenues wouldn't be nearly as high without my team. It can be hard to give up control and spend money you don't want to part with, but I owe much of my success to my team. And I wouldn't be where I am today without their support, collaboration, and dedication.
Thanks to Stephanie Ng, I Pass the CMA Exam!
#9- Focusing on my health first
In my many years as an entrepreneur, the one area that I have consistently focused my attention on for the eventual successes of my startups is my health. As an entrepreneur, you are often burning the midnight oil, and are mired in a variety of stresses, or panics, and certainly worries. If you are not taking care of yourself and your health first, how can you effectively run your business? So, I make sure that I keep my body healthy, and I get adequate sleep and rest, and even take a break from thinking about my work. When that happens I am able to approach my business with a fresh and honest overview, untethered to the stresses that can lead you and your company to ruin, ultimately giving myself a better chance to succeed.
Thanks to Jonathan Low, JumpStory!
#10- Focusing on the process
Success is great, but thinking too much about it can stop you from delivering your best performance. My way of increasing its chances is focusing on the process, not on the results. I think of little steps that can bring me ahead in achieving my goals and persistently implement them in my daily work. Focusing on things I can control gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I often compare it to the tennis match that consists of thousands of mini points, and each of them counts separately. Thinking of winning the whole game might be overwhelming, but concentrating on just the next ball is much easier. As a head of the content department, I focus on one task at a time or try to optimize the process if I see any pitfalls. Such an approach helps me grow as a professional and increases the likelihood of success along the way.
Thanks to EJ Mitchell, LiveCareer!
#11- Build what they want
The first step to increasing your likelihood of success is coming up with a great working product that appeals to a niche market. From there you can build a dedicated following and then gain more traction by advertising and using social media to spread the word about your product. By doing this you increase your chances of success.
Thanks to Brian Burling, eMotimo!
#12- Find something you enjoy doing, are good at and keep at it
A lot of people will tell you to do something you love and that is a good way of looking at things but it is not always possible to capitalize on doing something you love. However, it is likely that there will be things you like working on that you enjoy ‘more’ than others and most probably you will be good at these things that you enjoy. So it's best to start with this. If you are good at something and enjoy doing it. Working hard will never be a problem you just have to get started and keep at it. Being relentless in your pursuit of excellence is never going to go waste. Also, the thing about success is you can only make sense of what worked and what didn't’ in hindsight. But one thing that has worked for every single person who has even been successful is working hard and continuing to keep at it. Opportunities naturally follow.
Thanks to Rostislav Shetman, 9Kilo Moving!
#13- Adopting a sales cadence
One idea is a sales cadence which is a sequence of touchpoints you create with a prospect to establish a connection for an engagement or a sale. It is typically a
schedule to follow up with each prospect via phone, e-mail, social media channels, etc. Sales cadence starts at the first point of contact and continues through a sequence of interactions until the prospect is either converted into a sales opportunity or exits the cadence and enters the nurturing phase. The philosophy of a sales cadence is to create a process to diversify your outreach by getting in touch with prospects across multiple channels. Some prospects are more receptive over the phone, while others may prefer e-mail or social media so it¹s crucial for your sales cadence to include multiple channels to connect with a prospect. Adopting a sales cadence helps because a structured framework eliminates guesswork and maintains consistency between every prospective customer interaction and following a consistent sales cadence that works for your business is one of the primary keys for predicting accurate numbers. My tip is that the worst time to make a cold call to prospects in any region is 8-10am when everyone is rushing to work and preparing for the day but the worst time to call is the best time to e-mail. Once employees are at work, the first hour is generally spent checking e-mails and organizing the day. During this hour, your e-mail has a higher chance of visibility. Sending an e-mail during their transit period places your e-mail on top, and would be among the first they see as they open their inbox. E-mails that are sent late in the evening or early morning have a chance of being buried/missed.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#14- Have a long-term plan
Running a fast-growing business is like driving at 200 mph. You need to plan ahead before you take a sharp curve.To increase the likelihood of success, you need to have a plan for a long perspective. Reverse-engineer your way there. And focus from day one on actions that will take you there. No matter how busy you are with current tasks, a working day is wasted unless you do something about your priorities and build a future strategy.
Thanks to Kuba Koziej, Zety!
#15- Giving people the chance
You have to remember that people don’t work with companies, people work with people. The 8-10 people you interact with most often are your world at work. The key to success, particularly when undergoing any kind of business transformation is to give time, space and attention to the individuals that will make all the difference in your work. People are like rubber bands; they stretch in meetings, then snap back again. If you want to make real, meaningful change, take time to socialize your ideas – listening and sharing – privately with each person on the team and all those who your work will impact. That way, you give them time to express their concerns, so you can address them, express their hopes, so you can meet them, and most of all, give them a chance to feel included and part of the team. At the end of the day, it’s not “your project,” it belongs to the team that brings it to life.
Thanks to Lori Hamilton, Prosperity Productions!
#16- THINK THROUGH and come up with innovative ideas
I remember the time during school days when I used to ask a bunch of questions to my teachers. I was always inquisitive to know the ‘when' and ‘how' to everything. The practice of understanding new things builds a verge of dedication towards my work. If we keep on thinking ‘I want to be successful' all the time, then it would just increase our anxiousness. Success is a step-wise process; being dedicated and curious to know all the essential things and coming up with solutions will be the right way to be successful. Taking one step at a time, and you would have added one feather to your hat already. The inquisitiveness and the vision for my business keep me going.
Thanks to Jeev Trika, TopSEOs!
#17- Continous learning
There is no shortcut to success; every business owner has a different journey to achieve success in their business. Taking your everyday hindrances, whether big or small as a challenge and coming up with solutions not only solves your problems but also adds confidence and faith in myself. What keeps me going is facing my fear, whenever a BIG project comes across I remind myself to face the situation. Sometimes I win, sometimes I fail. But, the journey and the experience in this process teaches me in different aspects. LEARNING is the only way that keeps you going – both personally and professionally. There is nothing which you can't learn; you just need to have the right attitude. Other than developing these soft skills, you need to establish a strong network. When people develop trust in your brand, they would love to be your client, and so they would like to invest in your brand for their projects. This way, your clients would be happy and would spread a positive word of mouth to others as well. Setting such the right skills on track will help you reach the acme of success.
Thanks to Jitesh Keswani, e-Intelligence!
#18- Two ways
Share more. The behind-the-scenes of your work isn’t sexy to you, but to someone else it’s fascinating. After it’s finished, and not before, share the journey that led to that point. The mind maps, the inspiration, the research and the prototypes. This may well set you apart from the less authentic brands out there. Share the personalities behind your products and be transparent of your policies. Social media scheduling tool Buffer maintains a public revenue dashboard. Grenade’s CEO posts every day on LinkedIn. Let your networks buy into your entire remarkable journey and they’ll remember it well. Charge more. Being the premium option is a sterling strategy. There’s no race to the bottom and you can opt-out of discounts. Like Stella Artois’ “reassuringly expensive” or the proud top-end players in consumer electronics; position yourself firmly as the premium choice. When given the chance, 20% will take it without thinking. They assume it’s the best. The next way to stand out is to make sure you are the best. Drive the extra margins into more improvement and looking after your clients and stand out for your quality.
Thanks to Jodie Cook, JC Social Media!
#19- Boosting confidence by taking action
Confidence is a very powerful way to achieve success. Carry it as a challenge or opportunity, I simply call it a game of perception that ensures success comes in your way and takes you along on the ride. If you want to succeed in your business, then you need the confidence to face diverse challenges and overcome your fears. You should take action when required to reach business goals. This will increase your confidence level from startup to established business. It allows you to instill trust, facilitates respect, and often leads to increased success.
Thanks to Natik Ameen, Canz Marketing!
#20- Know your numbers
From your expenses to profits, a complete understanding of your business numbers will give you a clear vision to achieve your goals. Tracking critical financial numbers will allow you to make educated decisions to move your business forward. It can literally be the difference between a successful business and a bankrupt business. Many businesses go bankrupt because they run out of cash and not because of a bad product or low revenue.
Thanks to Linda Chau, EightPM!
#21- Time batching my schedule
Increasing the likelihood of success is directly connected to time management and productivity. A way I stay organized and on top of all my tasks is through time batching my schedule. It helps to eliminate the frequency of distraction. Setting aside a few hours of my morning to strictly focus on creative or analytical tasks that are urgent allows me to use my energized brain to the best of its capability. Once I have gotten the most important tasks out of the way and my focus is no longer as sharp, I move onto meetings and calls. With this set schedule, everyone on my team is aware of where I'm at in my day which helps with efficiency and communication. This method allows me to stay organized not only physically but mentally.
Thanks to Jon Zacharias, The Search Guy!
#22- Be responsive!
There is so much noise in the small business world, so when a client reaches out to you, make sure to reply within the day. If you can’t give a meaningful answer within the day, let your client or prospect know you need more time. When a prospect or client contacts you, and you don’t reply right away, that builds anxiety and can ultimately erode your reputation. Another tip on responsiveness is to use the phone! Make a return call when needed. Many client issues will require some ‘back and forth' discussions that can get frustrating and time-consuming by email or text. So pick up the phone for better responsiveness. You might be surprised that it ends up being a big time saver. And it will help build rapport with your client.
Thanks to Richard Capt'n Henderson, Home Business Podcast!
#23- Staying organized
I increase the likelihood of success by staying as organized as I can be every day. For example, one way I maximize daily productivity on projects is by making lists. I have lists on my phone and on my desktop that help me stay on task and know exactly which tasks I need to accomplish for the day. I also wake up super early, which gives me time to enjoy my coffee, work out, and then start getting ready for the day! I reserve the morning for myself to plan and prepare for a successful and productive day.
Thanks to Stephanie Fatta, BeautyBrite.com!
#24- Upgrade or overhaul a website
Does your website look modern and up to date? Make sure your loading speed is at the speed of now. What’s your call to action? What do you want your customer to do? Nobody digs for information or clicks through multiple pages to find answers. Install better tools: “People also ordered” accounts for one-third of Amazon’s sales. Is that on your page? How about the abandoned cart reminder tool? How does your site function on mobile? Finally, hire a professional team to upgrade your site.
Thanks to Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting!