Advertising
Advertising

6 Ways Fearless and Ambitious Entrepreneurs Gain Rapid Business Growth

6 Ways Fearless and Ambitious Entrepreneurs Gain Rapid Business Growth

As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably started your business dreaming of a continuous flow of money and the freedom to set your own hours and find success on your own terms. While these dreams aren’t impossible, they definitely are hard to realize, especially if you’re just starting out on your journey. However, the rewards you end up reaping will end up being completely worth it in the long run.

As a budding entrepreneur, you need to:

1. Join the competition

Don’t be afraid to dive right in. Make yourself known in your industry, even if on a small scale. This is not to say you want to start out thinking you can put other companies out of business — or even that that’s what you should aim to do at all. Rather, you should use your competitors’ successes as motivation to grow your own company from the ground up.

Advertising

You should also look to the established professionals within your industry and see them as the mentors they are. Many of them will be more than willing to help you get started on the right path.

2. Hire the right people

You’re not going to be able to run your company by yourself. You want to hire competent and forward-thinking individuals who are willing to work toward a common goal. While you don’t want to make exorbitant promises from the get-go, you want to make it clear that their efforts today will pay off in dividends tomorrow.

You want people who are motivated by more than just the almighty dollar working for you. You want the ones who understand your vision and will stop at nothing to see it come to life.

Advertising

3. Reduce your risks

Starting a business is a huge risk in the first place. And, believe it or not, getting started too quickly can end up coming back to bite you immediately.

As your business starts to grow, be careful not to take on too much. You don’t want your customers and clientele to get the impression that you’re unreliable. While you should never turn away a customer willing to pay for your services, if you’re unable to cater to their needs right away make sure they understand this, and that the only reason there may be a slight hold up is that you want to provide them with the best product or service possible.

4. Be adaptable

If you haven’t noticed by now, trends change on an almost daily basis. Because of this, your business needs to be able to constantly adapt to the needs of your customers. While you don’t want to sacrifice your integrity just to make a quick sale, you do want to listen to your customers’ advice and criticisms.

Advertising

You’re almost certainly going to make mistakes along the way to success. But if you don’t learn from them, you’ll never reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.

5. Focus on your customers

Like I just said, your business only exists because your customers do. But your company isn’t unique (at least not yet). Your audience can easily find someone else offering the same service or product as you. What keeps them loyal to your company is the personal touch you put into your business. Don’t settle for knowing what your customers want. Reach out to them as human beings. Create a community of like-minded individuals who share their ideas freely.

Not only will this give you an idea of how to move forward with your business, but it will show your customers that you truly care about them and want to provide them with exceptional service.

Advertising

6. Think ahead

This goes along with being adaptable. Like I said, you always want to be changing with the demands of your customers. But you shouldn’t be reactive in this prospect.

You need to proactively grow as a company, and never settle where you currently are. Imagine if Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg had just stopped working once they made their first million. Not only would they not have nearly as much as they do now, but Microsoft and Facebook would never have grown to the omnipresent entities they currently are.

Once you’ve reached one goal within your company, you should immediately start looking ahead to the next milestone on your path.

Featured photo credit: Child Entrepreneur Lemonade Stand 50 Cents Each Qiqi Lourdie June 24, 20111 / Steven Depolo via farm7.staticflickr.com

More by this author

12 Signs Of Self-Destructive People 7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One 8 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Ever Stop Loving You 8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart

Trending in Entrepreneur

1 8 Characteristics of Entrepreneurship That Will Lead to Success 2 How to Start an Online Business That Will Grow and Succeed 3 15 Best Entrepreneurs Books to Start Reading Now to Be Successful 4 How to Start a Small Business with Little to No Money 5 The Lifehack Show: Staying On Top of Your Game as an Entrepreneur with Frank Fiume

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

    Advertising

    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

        Advertising

        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

        Advertising

        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

        Advertising

        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

        More Leadership Tips

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Read Next