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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 July 10, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

1. Make Time for You

If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

4. Work on Your Personal Brand

Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

5. Be Accountable

Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

8. Learn to Embrace Failure

Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

9. Build Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

10. Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

  1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
  2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
  3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

Final Thoughts

You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

Reference

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