Business success depends on a number of factors. Some entrepreneurs make progress based on technical innovations. Many others build companies by offering a service or product that is clearly superior to everything else on the market. No matter what industry you are in, your business beliefs make a tremendous impact. Our beliefs shape our decisions about our business, especially when we are under pressure. If you have the following 10 beliefs, your business is guaranteed to improve.
1. You choose your own goals.
The determination to choose your own business goals makes a significant impact. Many in the corporate world wait passively for their goals to be assigned by senior management. If your investors and bankers require you to meet certain goals, there’s no need to limit yourself to those goals. Set at least one business goal based on your interests and desires.
What goals should you consider? Many people choose to focus on career goals (e.g. gain a promotion, land a new job). However, Michael Hyatt—creator of the 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever goal setting program—recommends a blend of goals to cover business (e.g. increase revenue), health (e.g. run a marathon), personal development (e.g. read 30 books) and relationships (e.g. take a “bucket list” trip to Europe with your spouse).
2. You build positive relationships and partners.
Running a business requires supportive relationships. When you’re first starting out, take the time to build good relationships with your customers. Before long, you will find out that customers who like you are much more likely to bring new business to you. At this point, you may be wondering how exactly to create a positive business relationship. While every relationship is different, most positive relationships share the following qualities:
- You learn how to detect negative cues: Noticing the lack of an activity can be an early warning sign that the relationship is in trouble (e.g. your business partner takes three days to return your calls instead of two).
- You practice the art of active listening: Listening effectively is a complex skill but you can become better by using active listening techniques.
- You look for ways to help others reach their business goals: introduce your business associates to new people, share books, share articles: there are many ways you can help people reach their business goals.
3. You have a humble attitude to learn about business.
Many writers stress the importance of confidence in business. Yet, over confidence has caused many companies to fail in recent years. When you have a humble approach to business, you stay open to new ideas and different solutions. When you are humble, you tend to ask more questions about business. You ask for business book recommendations, you realize that your plans will have to change with new information and you understand that staying curious is a key to success.
4. You take thoughtful risks.
How do you feel about risk in the business world? Some entrepreneurs feel the urge to vet everything on the success or failure of a single transaction. If that level of risk unsettles you, then you are in good company. Some of the most successful people in business put serious thought into managing risk.
When Richard Branson, the noted British entrepreneur and billionaire, launched his airline in the 1980s, he thought through risk and created the following creative deal:
Once I had negotiated the price for a second hand 747 from Boeing, I said to them that if Virgin Atlantic wasn’t successful, then I wanted to be able to hand the plane back at the end of the first year—therefore protecting the downside. (Best Advice: Protect the Downside by Richard Branson)
Here are two other ways you can increase your ability to take risks:
- Apply the art of rejection therapy: the risk of rejection keeps many people from reaching business success. Jia Jiang went through 100 days of rejection—his experience shows how you can grow by overcoming the risk of rejection.
- Practice risk management in your life to keep your health, finances and career in good condition. It is easier to take risks in business if you are keeping managing your health!
5. You are grateful to customers, suppliers, and others who support your business.
From time to time, it pays to sit back and be grateful for suppliers and customers. In fact, a gratitude habit is one of the best ways to maintain your mental health. We all know that the business world is stressful so this belief keeps you going through difficult times.
6. You strive for growth in every experience.
Business brings disappointment and frustration. A key employee resigns just when you need them. Several customers abandon you. Your belief in these times of difficulty will keep you going. Researcher Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, has demonstrated that a growth mindset leads to success.
7. You believe in yourself and your business.
Critics are everywhere. As Theodore Roosevelt pointed out in his famous “Man In The Arena” speech, it is not the critic who counts. When you put in the time and effort to build your company’s products and services, take pride in what you have achieved! When you move forward with confidence in your business, you will make more sales than the person who is consumed with doubt and worry.
8. You are proactive in managing your calendar.
What do you believe about your time? It’s an easy to question to answer. Think about how you used the first two hours of the day yesterday. Did you open email and start reacting to messages? That’s an easy way to become reactive and lose control of your day. Even worse, constant email checking trains your mind to be reactive to other people, rather than act on your own goals.
When you adopt a proactive attitude to your calendar, your business will start to take off. That’s why many of the most successful people in business have morning routines—they get up early for exercise, reading and meditation. Schedule at least one hour a day to work on your most important projects—creating a new product or reviewing your progress on your annual goals.
9. You have a healthy attitude about conflict.
In a business class I took, the instructor once said “never forget that buyers and vendors have different objectives.” That’s true! Competing objectives is one of the sources of conflict. You may also encounter sharply different approaches to work. When you have realistic beliefs about conflict, you can move forward to develop solutions. For the best results, look for ways to collaborate to solve a problem.
- Do you have employees or contractors to manage? Experts estimate that managers spend 30% of their time working on conflict. If you spend anything like that amount of time on conflict, then it pays to become more effective.
- To reduce legal expenses, consider using alternate dispute resolution (ADR) in contracts with suppliers and partners.
10. You understand the importance of ownership.
Ownership is one of the most important beliefs in business. In a financial context, maintaining ownership of your company keeps you in charge. Broadly speaking, working with an owner’s mind means that you own your choices. When you take responsibility, you can fully celebrate your victories!
Featured photo credit: Young man with laptop in hand running on meadow with dandelions via shutterstock.com