I have often been asked what I believe are the keys to owning a successful business. Having talented, passionate people working with me would be one of the first things that comes to mind along with the fact that I have never entertained the thought that I might fail. Recently, I gave a speech to a group of women business owners and was asked to share a few things from that talk that I believe can make you successful not only in business, but in life.
1) Have a positive attitude. A positive attitude about everything! Yourself and your ability, other people, the future. Whatever life throws your way … maintain a good attitude! I’ll pass along one of my client Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvales favorite sayings… “If it is to be, it is up to me.” To me, that says it all.
2) Don’t be afraid of problems. When I walk through the door of Love Advertising every day there is only one thing I’m sure is going to happen. PROBLEMS. Unresolved problems pave the road to failure. But if you have a positive attitude, you can solve most any problem and solving problems helps you learn to think and grow and it builds your confidence to survive and win … both in your personal and professional lives. Focus on solutions and be sure to hear both sides … get facts on the table and give everyone the benefit of the doubt until you hear both sides.
3) Don’t hire people and tell them to be nice. Hire nice people. You can teach people many things but nice isn’t one of them.
4) Slow to hire, quick to fire. I read an article once called “I quit but I forgot to tell ‘ya” and I looked around and saw two people at the agency that fit that description. I sat down with them and found that they really wanted to be doing something else but needed the push to move forward. I worked with them to create an exit strategy and remain on good terms with them to this day.
5) Your first method in communicating with your staff, customers, etc. should be eye-to-eye, i.e. face-to-face. Then ear to ear. Then you can rely on technology like texting, but the last should be email as it is too easily misconstrued.
6) Watch your money. If you own your own business, sign your own checks so you can keep track of what’s going out – it’s just as important as what’s coming in. Also, get a plan for what to do with the money you make.
7) Dress for success. A great saying is dress for the job you want. Nice black pants and white shirts are not expensive and if you add accessories, you can look polished and professional every day.
8) You can’t grow if you don’t let go. Make sure you are delegating and letting others work on your behalf. You can’t grow your business if you don’t have people who can do what you do, and if you don’t let them try, you will never know their capabilities.
9) Don’t overuse pronouns. This leads to so many communications problems. She told her that they didn’t want them to help him. Use names – that is why we have them!
10) My last piece of advice is to give back. Give back to your community, whether it’s your church or charity. Volunteer, donate time and if you can, money. Find a way to give back something of yourself. We have a program at my agency called LOVE MATTERS where I give everyone $500 to give to a charity in which they are personally involved. Try it and I promise, you’ll get more than you can ever give.
- Brenda Love