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How to Be a Successful Businessman (The Complete Guide)

How to Be a Successful Businessman (The Complete Guide)

Do you want to be a successful businessman?

If you expect this to be a list of tips about marketing or why social media is so important, then think again. Instead, we will focus on the most important asset when it comes to becoming a successful businessman – you.

Often, a lack of knowledge or confidence lies at the root of failing at something in life. So, imagine the difference it will make if both of these areas are no longer an issue. Would this change your perspective and belief in your ability to become a success at pretty much anything?

Well, that is where these person-specific tips will change things for you.

I will take you through 15 simple points that will alter your perception of yourself. By doing this, it becomes easier to overcome personal obstacles or difficulties that have the potential to hold you back in business.

With this guide, you will not only find it easier to become a successful businessman, but a more successful person in general.

So, are you ready to become a success?

1. Make Grit Your Foundation

Finding that ‘inner grit’ will lie at the heart of your foundation as a successful businessman.

Grit evolves into determination and perseverance, which is essential in achieving success. Grit stops you admitting defeat as soon as things get tough. Furthermore, it pushes you onwards even when others have their reservations.

No businessman can be a success without having this grit.[1]

Look to your past where you showed this grit to understand its positive impact on what happened next. Since it worked before, it creates a strong pathway in your mind that grows as you conclude that grit achieves results.

Understand your own inner grit, which motivates you, which pushes you forward and inspires you to achieve your goals. Nourishing those inner strengths and gifts will enhance your own special asset, yourself.

2. Work to Reduce Your Fear

Fear can destroy everything, and not only your business.[2]

Fear cripples you. It changes your way of thinking. It challenges your ability to carry out the correct actions. It inhibits your intuition which is pivotal to your success. Besides, it stops you taking those calculated risks that can push you forward.

Take time to think about your fears and where they stem from. Often, it’s only an illusion or a sign of an incorrect belief or way of thinking.

Was it justified? Did it protect? Did it impede? Seek to both understand and rationalize your fears to dilute their power. As Richard Branson said in 2015,[3]

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Overcoming fear is the first step to success for entrepreneurs.

Identify those fears and build your confidence in those areas even with small steps. The more confident you are, the less power fear has at its disposal.

Remember there is positive stress, that is the one that says, ‘Get up and go’ and then there is the other which holds you back. Use your get up and go motivator and work on dropping fear.

This guide can hep you conquer whatever fear you have:

How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

3. Visualize Your Future on a Daily Basis

Do you day-dream about your future? Visualization makes it easier to turn it into a reality.

But, avoid thinking about the house or luxurious vacation. Instead, be sensible and tangible with your visions. Also, define them as clearly as possible since that will make your visions more real.

Write down your visions or sketch them with the pathway that you wish to follow. Any successful businessman knows what they are doing, where they are going and how to get there thanks to visualizing it.

Take a look at this article and learn to visualize:

How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

4. Get Honest with Yourself

Being honest with yourself is often not nice nor easy. Identifying areas where you’re weak in can be soul-destroying; but only if you allow it to affect you.

People who are successful accept that it’s impossible to be good at everything. They will either learn new skills or outsource to resolve the issue.

Set aside time to be hard on yourself. Note the areas where you accept that you’re lacking. Even ask others who know you for their input.

Remember, this isn’t a personal attack but to see where extra help can stop those weaker areas from hampering your career. Through this process, you’ll find your positive strengths too and know what you’re working with.

5. Be Willing to Absorb New Information

Nobody knows everything. Business evolves constantly, and so as information.

This isn’t about gaining qualifications. It’s about studying and understanding the field you work in. You learn new ideas, theories, or methods and reduce the chances of making costly mistakes.

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Take time to learn from successful people you admire: read case studies that you find on City of Hype, identify common issues and see how others overcame them.

Learn to be a sponge that soaks up information that’s relevant, and then act upon it.

Embrace change or at least learn to like it. Change is something you can count on and is important for the dynamic businessman.

6. Be Prepared to Commit

Committing to yourself and your career is a long-term must. Even a businessman who appears to be an overnight success has put in both effort and work to get to that position.

Some struggle to achieve success because they find it difficult to commit to the process. They are anxious or fail to have the passion that is required for success.

Commit to yourself, your business and your family. You need to understand what you are doing this for and develop that grit; write it down and look at the reasons; be in it for the long road and not some quick fix which could be your undoing.

You need to know your goals and zero in on how to achieve them while being aware that this can take years and that’s nothing unusual.

Seeking motivation from those that are winning in their chosen fields can help as this can refresh the goal you have and keep it real.

7. Tackle Your Stress and Anxiety

Here’s something you may not have expected us to say. Get help!

A study carried out by the University of California states that 72% of entrepreneurs are affected by some mental health issue. From this, stress and anxiety play a significant role in these statistics.[4]

Realizing that business incorporates stress and anxiety lets you counteract it before it becomes a problem. While some stress is good, learning how to deal with it so it never undermines what you’re doing makes sense.

Seek out a stress expert or talk to a counselor who can help you face your stress in life and prevent it from bleeding over into your career.

If you’re not very good at asking for help, this article is useful for you:

Afraid to ask for Help? Change Your Outlook to Aim High!

8. Focus on Personal Growth Rather Than on Business

There is no successful businessman without personal growth. In fact, the stronger and more confident you are, the easier it will become.

Working on your character, your understanding of things or your weak points makes sense. Which parts are you unhappy about? Who can help with this? Realize you are never a finished product, and accept it.

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Look at the earlier point regarding your weak areas and work on improving them.

Also, have a strong foundation for yourself by seeking ways to improve what you already have. The core of success is within you; it’s a case of helping it to emerge. Maximize your strengths and try to mentor someone. It may reignite your inner introspection and enable you to move forward with confidence.

9. Understand the Way in Which You Make Decisions

Do you act on impulse or do you procrastinate too much?

Coming to terms with how you make decisions tells you a lot about your personality. Over-thinking can mean a lack of confidence while impulsive decisions shows recklessness that increases the risk of making a mistake.

Study what successful businessmen say about their own decision-making. Understand their processes and what works for them to formulate your own approach. It may be uncomfortable at first but if it makes things smoother, then your confidence will grow.

10. Work on Your People Skills

If your people skills are inadequate, then life will be tough. After all, you have to deal with people at some point.

Poor skills results in damaged belief in you and an inability to trust. Poor people skills also cost businesses billions of dollars per year due to bad experiences with customer service.

You don’t need to be able to talk to everyone, but work on your posture, and how you project your voice. Consider faking your confidence until it becomes easier too. Look at where you did well and feel inspired as a result.

Check out this article to learn more about people skills:

16 Bogus Myths About People Skills that Popular People Already Know

11. Become Involved in Networking

Being unable to network in any form will result in your business failing. As your people skills improve, so will your ability to network. Not networking affects your self-esteem and limits your business growth potential because the two go hand in hand.

If you lack in confidence, then start networking close to home and gauge the response. Move on to people who are perhaps not quite so close and also gauge their reaction.

Getting a positive reaction increases those positive vibes and networking will become easier, as will dealing with people in general.

Networking is a strange thing, the more you network the easier it becomes. Most successful businessmen have an easy style when networking and they do it without even thinking.

Networking also becomes a habit once you start a positive habit you want to practice early on.

Here’re some tips for networking:

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How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

12. Understand the Need to Sacrifice

To succeed, you must understand the need to sacrifice. This applies to your social life, time with hobbies, even having to drop salary to gain experience to then move forward.

Being unwilling to sacrifice indicates a lack of passion and commitment.

Look at areas of your life that are distractions. How could you reduce them to boost your career? Where is the wasted time and energy?

No successful businessman ever got there by only putting in 50%. You must put this near the top of your list of priorities.

Learn the concept of balance and understand that there is a time for everything. Don’t over sacrifice, instead learn to balance like a pro.

13. Plan Every Aspect of Your Life

Planning equates to structure, and you will not be successful without it. I mentioned how successful businessmen know where they are going as they have visualized it. Well, change this to planning and the rules are still the same.

Plan when you will sleep, plan when you will eat and plan the order in which things must be done. You can outsource your marketing while you sleep. If your day is quite regimental, then there is less room for mistakes. You know what needs to happen and when, so nothing should be a surprise.

This may sound boring, but it is effective in saving you time and helping you take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

14. Nourish Yourself

Giving your body the correct fuel to get it through the day will make a huge difference. Ignoring your nutritional needs has a negative impact on your energy levels and your ability to think. This results in an increased chance of making mistakes.

You must commit to having a shut-down time each day. Consider reducing artificial light in the evening to encourage better sleep. Some of the techniques you can use to help you relax include exercise, meditation, healthy eating, avoiding sugar and caffeine and actually making time to stop work to eat.

Creating a business is exciting stuff but you have to make time to rest, to eat and to have fun. Remember the idea of balance?

15. Have Time for Yourself.

It cannot be work, work and more work. Having time for yourself and doing things that you enjoy or find relaxing will play a key role.

You must force your mind into thinking about something else to prevent fatigue. You must have that cut off time where you go back to your life pre-business.

Note what you like to do, and how long it usually takes. Then, look at your planning schedule from earlier and see how it can all fit in. With perfect planning, it will be easier than you think.

The Bottom Line

You may have a number of areas to work on. You might also have the best business or career mapped out already. But if you’re lacking in these core areas, then you will burn out, lose motivation or even give up your goal soon.

These points will lead to the success you are looking for. By taking into account the above points, you could place yourself well ahead of the pack and the competition when it comes to business sense.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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