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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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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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