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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 March 30, 2020

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Traditionally, when you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you would create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion like this:

  • Intro to Visual Facilitation
    • Problem, Consequences, Solution, Benefits, Examples, Call to action
  • Structure
    • Why, What, How to, What If
  • Do It Myself?
    • Audio, Images, time-consuming, less expensive
  • Specialize Offering?
    • Built to Sell (Standard Product Offering), Options (Solving problems, Online calls, Dev projects)

This type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It obviously lacks in clarity. It also makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing.

You always have too much information to look at, and most often you only get a partial view of the information. It’s hard to zoom out, figuratively, and to see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected.

To see a fuller picture, create a mind map.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to “dump your brain”, or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using pen and paper.

The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas before your eyes. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

    Image Credit: English Central

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    By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

    3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

    The three steps are:

    1. Set a central topic
    2. Add branches of related ideas
    3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

    Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[1]

    Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

    Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

    Word it in a clear and concise manner.

      What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

        Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

        Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out next to it in the same way, using your pen.

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          You can always add more to it later, but that’s good for now.

          In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits”. Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

          Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

          Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

          Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

            I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

            In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

            Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

            You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

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            • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
            • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches. And so on.
            • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

            Branch by Branch

            Start with the central topic, add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

              Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                A branch after another, and the mind map is complete.

                  Level by Level

                  In this “Level by Level” strategy, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. So here you add elements on level 1:

                    Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                      Idem for the next level. This is level 3. You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                        Free-Flow

                        Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. No rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                          I recommend using a combination of the “Branch by Branch” and the “Free-Flow” strategies.

                          What I normally do is I add one branch at a time, and later on review the mind map and add elements in various places to finish it. I also sometimes build level 1 (the main branches) first, then use a “Branch by Branch” approach, and later finish the map in a “Free-Flow” manner.

                          Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you.

                          The Bottom Line

                          When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and have your thoughts organized.

                          If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on the phone and computer.

                          More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                          Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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