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Published on January 14, 2019

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 August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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