As we discussed last month, we need to recognize that what got us where we are as business owners and C-level executives won’t get us to where we want to go.
It’s easy to become stuck, and we have to make a conscious effort to break through our daily habits of complacency and reexamine the fundamentals that got us to where we are. That’s why I have crafted this list of concrete action steps you can take to achieve and maintain entrepreneurial success. Consider it a way of rebuilding your muscle memory.
Use what makes sense right now. Study the list each month to pick the next fundamental to incorporate change into your business and experience the growth you have been looking for. Or, pick one each day and use it to create change within your organization. Remember: It takes 21 days to break a habit and form a new one.
Here is the second half of my 10 action steps to help bring clarity to your next business decision, assist you in pinpointing how you’re wasting time, and help you continue to grow in the future.
- Build a Thick Skin
Sticks and stone may break bones, but when words hurt you, you and your business can be worn down. Having a thick skin is hard, but it is essential in business. We must be kind, but firm; tough, but nice; tenacious, yet approachable. That being said, you can’t give a sh** what people think of you or say to you. You can’t take anything personally. One of my favorite quotes is, “Don’t spend time worrying about what others think of you. The fact is, they rarely do.” Whoever said this was right on the money. Remember it as you develop your own thick skin.
ACTION ITEM: Always be open to feedback, but make sure you are getting it from someone whose intent is genuine. It’s okay to let it in one ear and out the other, or to simply walk away. Everyone has an opinion. Whether it matters to you or not is up to you.
- Be the Solution to the Pain that Is Their Problem
It is so typical that we don’t own this. What seems so fundamental to us is not to others; yet our advice can change the course of someone’s business and/or life. Own that you are the solution to someone else’s problem. There is HUGE responsibility in this, which is why so many people shy away from it. Have faith that what you offer gives others peace of mind and a quality alternative.
ACTION ITEM: If your unique ability solves someone’s problems, you have a business. Now, go grow it!
- Study Every Day
It’s that simple. Do something every single day that will expand your mind, grow your skillset and develop your talents. This might mean reading a book, listening to a podcast, watching a webinar, or something else. Do it every day and the compounding effect will be tremendous to your personal and business growth.
ACTION ITEM: Commit to daily study. Schedule time every day to learn. It can be as little as 10 minutes of listening to a podcast every morning on the way to work and again on the way home. Put it on your calendar so you have no excuses.
- Leave a Lasting Impression
You are judged by how you walk into the room and in the first seven seconds you encounter someone. Smile! Show enthusiasm in your eyes and have a welcoming handshake. Be happy to see or meet people. Make time for them. Slow down and give them a little attention. Ask them a question or two about themselves. Collect business cards. Email people after you meet them. Put them in your database. Stay consistent in your communication with them. Close them in your business or get an introduction from them. They will expect the same from you.
ACTION ITEM: Attend a networking event. Be consistent with your attendance and put some on your calendar. Go, and have fun!
- Always Be Prepared
Always take time to prepare. Prepare for meetings, introductions, presentations and EVERYTHING you do. You should have a PREPARE mindset in everything you do. It’s that simple. When you are prepared, you make everything look easy to others. That is exactly how they should perceive you and your abilities.
ACTION ITEM: Proactively set time in your calendar to prepare every day.
These concrete action steps will help rebuild your muscle memory and achieve entrepreneurial success. The ideas may seem simple, but they are not. They will require you to change your routine and become uncomfortable. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone every now and then.
By the way, my “Entrepreneur’s Playbook: 10 Action Steps for Entrepreneurial Success” makes a great handout! Feel free to print it from my website, jondwoskin.com, where you will find all sorts of tools to help you grow big. Very Big!