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Six Great Tips For Success In Any Business

Six Great Tips For Success In Any Business
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Everyone who works does business, whether they are employees or employers, blue or white collar workers, entrepreneurs or investors. That is why it should come as no surprise that the principles of business success can be translated to your own success–whatever your profession may be. Here are six ingredients for success that anybody can use for their advancement.

1. People before profit

Compare the conniving salesman who pressures you to buy that pricey item you clearly don’t need with a salesman who seeks your interests in picking a more relevant and economical product. It’s obvious which one you will keep going back to! It goes without saying that any real business must be profitable (i.e. the bottom line). However, many businesses and individuals make a huge mistake when they fail to value every relationship in their line of work–clients and company personnel alike. When you or your business decide to do this, you will be noticed, promoted and become even more profitable!

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2. Quality isn’t expensive

The flip side of “people before profit” also means you care about the service or product you are supplying and, if you’re employed, your boss too! It means you aim for excellence, which might often be overlooked but is crucial for the success of any business or career. You can’t beat the reputation you build because of high quality work you produce. Indeed, neglecting quality is the expensive option.

3. Lead your people

Leadership is in extremely short supply everywhere you go. When you decide to be a good leader, whether you are leading a team of 500, your family or just the cat at home, things change for good–always. Leading is the very opposite of reacting. When you decide to lead, you will stand out as being different. That initiative you show is what will take your company,and your career, forward.

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4. Embrace failure

Nothing great is ever achieved by those who fear failure. That is true of any area in life, whether it’s about the courage to ask the love of your life to marry you or taking your company to completely uncharted territory. Failure is perhaps one of the greatest teachers we can learn from, especially when we make sure to bring along perseverance to the party. This has got to be one of the most seemingly counter-intuitive secrets of success out there; befriending failure gets you on the fast-lane to success!

5. Make everything better

Ever heard this one, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? That right there is the ingredient for mediocrity and losing out big time, especially when competition is the name of the game in your business (and which business isn’t competitive, really?). You need to always improve your domain, your work, your job even if it’s working out fine the way it’s been done for years. You will need to watch out; people generally hate change–especially when it seems like they will have to work more–so you will have to employ a lot of tact, diplomacy, persuasion and sensitivity in such situations. But if it’s just you in the picture, what are you waiting for?

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6. Enjoy life; enjoy success

Many people think success is about being profitable. As we have seen, it clearly isn’t. If you want success in your job or business, then strive for success outside of work. You may know someone who seems to have it all but is never happy or satisfied. Stress and sadness can really kill. So never lose sight of the most fundamental aspects of life: love, health, and joy. There is not a single cent out there that is worth sacrificing those things for.

Featured photo credit: Negative Space via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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