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The dream of running your own business is almost universal.
It crosses country and continent lines and the diversities of culture, language, gender and skillsets.
Every business is different in many ways, but in many others they are essentially the same.
You have your product or service, your clients, your sale to your clients, and your profits.
Starting your small business often isn’t the hard part; growing it is.
Along that path you can be helped immensely if you take the time to adopt a growth mindset.
As a person who has spent my life as an entrepreneur helping other entrepreneurs, I have noted a number of key traits in those who run successful business maintain over those who do not.
As we look forward to conducting our business and watching it grow, I will talk about these today so you can see if tap into these traits that will help your small business flourish in the coming months.
Growers of business don’t leave it to chance
Many of the successful entrepreneurs I work with have great spontaneous personalities and an enviable commitment to supporting family and friends and enjoying a life balance.
But that laissez-faire attitude isn’t what they bring to their business growth. Instead, they focus on short and long-term business plans to set the roadmap for where they want their business to go. Remember, a wise man once said, “if you don’t know where you want to be in 5 years, you are already there.”
Without specific smart goals, it is very easy for your business to fall into the status quo. You do the same work for the same clients year in and year out, trapped in a cycle of routine that allows you to make a living, but not make your very best living.
Your good business plan allows you a time out to consider the challenges to your industry, the unique ways that you can meet these challenges, the additional sell-ups you can offer to your clients, and the methods you can use to draw more clients into your sales funnel.
Business growth strategies need to start today
The status quo business owner imagines that there will be time in the future to sit down and figure out growth strategies.
Meanwhile, they put that down as a non-essential task today and instead turn to the paperwork that must be done today.
Their priorities are clear, just a little misguided.
Every day that you neglect to consider your business growth is a day that you stand still while someone else moves forward.
This is an issue I have struggled with myself over the years until I really started to examine the difference between the growing businesses and the stabilized businesses.
I discovered that it is a priority every day to pencil in on my agenda some action that will advance my business. And, like many of you, I have a list of items to do each day and how I prioritize is by asking myself will completing this today move me closer to where I want to go?
Otherwise, in the process of helping other people to grow their businesses I was failing to look after myself.
There is no right time in the future to focus on your business growth. There is only what you do today that matters. Seth Godin might have said it best – “the best time to start your plan for growth was a year ago…the second best time is now.”
Grow yourself as you grow your business
No investment you make in your business matters as much as the investment you make in yourself.
When you work alone in your business, as many entrepreneurs do, there is a tendency to keep doing what you are comfortable doing and going on a learning curve only when a client asks about something you haven’t done before.
To adopt a growth mindset, realize that at least once or twice a year you need to take a course – preferably one every quarter, seek an additional qualification or certification, and grow your skillset.
If you truly want more, you need to become more.
Go first to the areas that interest you as you train yourself to develop a taste for personal development.
After that, do a little analysis of your strengths and weaknesses and enroll in courses that will help you to build your strengths even further. There are varied opinions, but it is my belief that you succeed by working on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Find others to help you with those. ☺
You can take courses related to business or sales, of course, but you may also find that you need help in learning new aspects of technology, or new ways to manage your time more efficiently. You may lack the communication skills needed to make your clients feel at ease, even though your business skills are second to none.
Just as you are encouraged to make a plan for your business development, make a similar plan for your personal development.
Set goals and time limits and research the ways and means to keep growing your skills and yourself as an entrepreneur.
Take advantage of what time is not scheduled
Most of us were raised to think that what is free is of little value.
That translates as an attitude that it is okay to waste free time (time for which no tasks have been allocated).
We all need our down time to decompress a bit and allow our minds to wander and the stresses of the day to ease.
But there is no law that says we need to spend two hours watching television after the children are tucked into bed, for example.
We might find it just as satisfactory to spend one hour and 45 minutes watching television, and 15 minutes reading just one chapter of an interesting and enlightening book, or watching a video on TED Talks.
We might compress the full hour we spend doing household chores at day’s end to 30 minutes with a bit of delegation to other family members, and have 30 minutes to walk or work out to maintain our health.
Nobody has enough time. We hear that excuse every day from just about every person we know. As far as I know each and every one of us only has 168 hours in every week.
But we have the right to decide how we spend our time.
If we want to take just a small portion of the time we consider free to invest in ourselves in some way, the results over the period of an entire year will astound you.
These are just some ways that you can help yourself develop a growth mindset. Keep a growth journal and chart what works and doesn’t work for you.
Myself, I have a “dream chart” on my wall at home with images of all the places I want to see and things I want to accomplish. I am also a fan of the “Day One” app for keeping a daily journal.
In the next blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best business books to read if you want more insight to developing your growth mindset.
This blog is for you and we hope you will enjoy the content.
Please let us know if there are any specific topics you would like us to address in the future.
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