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Your Business Will Grow Quickly If You Have These 10 Beliefs

Your Business Will Grow Quickly If You Have These 10 Beliefs

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).

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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.

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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:

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • 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

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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