More Characteristics of Successful Business Leaders

More essential characteristics of truly effective business leaders:

High Aspirations

All successful business leaders have high aspirations – they may not start life with them, but they evolve as they experience the world and see needs that they feel they can fulfil.

They may not know how or why; they may not even be certain that they can, but they know they are worthy of their attention, so they keep the dream, the vision, the aspirations alive, and focus their attention on them.

These leaders don’t think small, they think big – but that doesn’t mean they don’t recognise the need for and plan to do the little things, (the things others don’t see as important enough to stick at), and do them consistently and do them well.

Consistent, focused effort will help take them there, but it’s their high aspirations, their worthy ideals, and the things they’re prepared to give their life’s work to that provides the starting point, the focus, and the motivation.

Aptitude for People

Being a people person is a prerequisite to being a successful business leader. Leaders who like people, are genuinely interested in individuals and teams and find it easy to build relationships with people at all levels and in all situations, will always shine.

They are the ones people are drawn to, that they will talk to; the ones they will follow because they feel respected as individuals and enthusiastic about where you’re leading them.

How you feel about and around people shows, in your conversations and in your actions; people pick up on this and respond accordingly. If your belief and self-esteem are high, then you’re likely to have a greater belief in the potential of everyone, which can be a great motivator for teams and individuals.

Review and Evaluation

The most successful business leaders build in review and evaluation up front i.e. they actively plan to check how things are going both during and after any project, change, or development.

They determine how they’re going to measure success: the evidence or changes that must occur. They also determine base line information i.e. they establish figures and evidence of what’s happening before the start, so that evaluation will be valid.

Milestones or progress reviews/meetings are planned so that checks can be made against plans, and corrective action taken in a timely manner. This ensures that review is a continuous process that feeds into and informs evaluation and planning.

These leaders know that collecting both qualitative and quantitative information at predetermined points after the event, as well as during, will ensure real evaluation.

Successful business leaders not only do this for themselves and their work, but also do this with their people, and encourage their people to do for themselves.

Do You Honestly Want to Start Your Own Business Working From Home?

If you are serious about starting a home based business, the first step is to decide on your business model. After choosing the business model that best fits your goals, it is vitally important to follow in the footsteps of someone who has established a proven system to creating business success. After all, why try and reinvent the wheel?

These seven steps have been put into action, perfected, and proven to be successful in developing a profitable business action plan:

Test new and effective techniques for marketing your business. Successful marketing is the lifeline of every successful business. In today’s economic downturn, people are leaving their corporate jobs in droves and looking for the freedom of working from home. Literally thousands of people are searching daily for what your business will offer to them.

Assess what is working for your business and do more of it, while at the same time discarding techniques that are not working. To become successful, your actions must produce desired results. Identify actions that are resulting in success and concentrate on those. It’s been said that repeating three successful techniques 1,000 times is far more productive than implementing 1,000 techniques that do not produce desired results. This is so true.

Continue to educate yourself on the real value of your products and services and how they benefit your customers or target audience. Ask yourself these two questions: (1) “Are my products and services offering my target audience the results they desire?” and (2) “How can I improve my services or offer more value to my target audience to allow them to reach their goals?” Asking yourself these questions on a regular basis will keep you motivated and attract more customers.

Set realistic and achievable goals. It is vital to your success to write down your goals. Start simple. Write down three action items or “to do” items that you will accomplish daily for the next two weeks to promote your business. At the end of two weeks, evaluate the success of your three daily action items. If one of the items did not work very well, but the other two worked great, then replace the one that didn’t produce desired results with something new. For the next two weeks, take daily action on the revised list of three items. Then evaluate your success. I think you get the idea. This will work for the success of your business.

Outsource tasks that you do not have time for or don’t enjoy doing. Concentrate on personally accomplishing those things related to your business that are keeping you motivated and let someone else do the other jobs. Companies that provide outsourcing services can be found online and generally charge reasonable fees.

Pay close attention to feedback you receive from customers and fine tune your goals accordingly. After all, these are the people you are aiming to please. Their input is critical to your success

Do not burn out. Keeping yourself from burning out is important to the success of your business. Starting a business can be very intense and time consuming. It’s natural for your ever-thinking mind to say, “Work, Work, Work!” However, to stay motivated, you absolutely must take time out to recharge your batteries and refresh your thinking. On a regular schedule, walk around the mall; enjoy a leisurely latte at your favorite coffee shop; take a weekend trip to the beach; hike a trail; ride your bike a couple or three miles; or just take a leisurely stroll and “smell the roses.”

Follow these seven proven action steps and make a profit.

Guide to Starting a Successful Business

ASSESSING YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS

How do you assess your strengths and weaknesses? SWOT analysis is one of the components of external environmental scanning. SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Strengths are the core competencies of a business idea. Therefore what do you think could be one of your strongest unique selling proposition or core competence? A core competence or unique selling proposition is a factor that will make you business stand out from the rest of your competitors (people who do same business as you and with whom you will be competing for customers and market share). Weaknesses are limitations that prevent you from achieving your goal/ objective. Therefore it is important for you to know what are your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you when you are doing internal environmental analysis as it helps you to concentrate on your core competences or unique selling propositions.

ASSESSING BUSINESS AND PERSONAL GOALS

This is where you are supposed to identify what objectives you want to achieve both as a business and as an individual. Setting goals helps you have a unit of direction. Both the business goals and personal goals should be well refined so that you achieve overall organizational and personal objectives. They should be able to merge into one as well as be in line with your interests. You cannot start a business that you do not have passion about. Objectives should arouse interest and hence obtain action.

ASSESSING YOUR FINANCIAL RESOURCES

This is also an important guiding principle to starting a new business. The avenues where you are going to get financial assistance should be first priority. To do this, you will most probably if not obvious, need to write a well convincing business plan. A business plan helps your financier to measure how feasible your business is. A business plan also is a management planning tool as it helps you to organize yourself as well as how best to utilize the resources that will be granted to you by the financing authority. Finance could come from personal savings (Most Recommended), banks, other subsidiary financial institutions, grants and so on. I would personally recommend personal savings because they attract no interest element and you are you own accountant.

IDENTIFYING THE FINANCIAL RISKS

A risk is an unforeseen scenario or situation that poses danger to you or your business. Therefore you should sit down and evaluate possible personal and business risks. Identify what factors could pose a danger to your unique selling proposition or core competence. Financial risks include: inflation, devaluation of currency, interest rates, operational costs, costs associated with stock exchange fluctuations, political risks, future business development, competition and so on. Find out factors either within or outside your business which could affect your business financing plan. This will help you to plan for any shortcomings as regards to your financial plan.

DETERMINE THE START-UP COSTS

Now you have all information you need in order for you to start a new business. You have identified where to get sourcing from and how you will avoid common financial risks. How do you determine the start-up costs? You can estimate your start-up costs by considering the following”

Cost of sales- which includes product inventory, raw materials, manufacturing equipment, shipping, packaging, shipping insurance, warehousing and so on.

Professional fees- This is fees related to setting up a legal structure for your business(e.g limited liability company, corporation), trademarks, copyrights, patents, drafting partnership and disclosure agreements, attorneys fees for ongoing consultation, cost of retaining an accountant.

Technology cost- computer hardware, computer software, printers, cellphones, personal digital assistant, website development and maintenance, high-speed internet access, servers, security measures, IT security.

Administrative costs- Various types of business insurance, office supplies, licenses and permits, express shipping and postage, product packaging, parking, rent, utilities, phones, copier, fax machines, desks, chairs, filing cabinets- anything else you need to have on a daily basis to operate the business.

Sales and Marketing Costs- Printing of stationery, marketing materials, advertising, public relations, event or trade show attendance or sponsorship, trade association or chamber of commerce, membership fee, travel and entertainment for travel for client meetings, mailing or lead lists.

Wages and benefits- employee salaries, payroll taxes, benefits, workers compensation among other factors.

DETERMINE BUSINESS LOCATION

This is where you decide on where your business will be located. It could be in a city, town or local setting but this will be determined by the following factors:

type of business

— marketing segmentation (divisions of your market into homogeneous parts that you can efficiently and effectively cover)
— raw materials availability (for a manufacturing company)
— geography and politics; just but to mention a few.

DO MARKET RESEARCH

Market research is a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target market, competition and/or environment. It always incorporates some form of data collection whether it be secondary research (often called desk research) or primary research which is collected directly from a respondent. The main purpose of any market research is to achieve an increased understanding of the subject matter. With markets becoming increasingly more competitive the world over, market research is becoming an increasingly important. Therefore you have to do market research to help you keep up with the current industry trends in your area.

IDENTIFY WHO YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE

The identification of customers involves a process called market segmentation. Marketing segmentation is the process of dividing the target market into homogeneous parts that can be efficiently and effectively satisfied by an organization. The company does this on the basis of geography, psycho graphic and/or demographic. Geographic segmentation is whereby you divide your market according to geographic factors such as location, region, country, country and so on. Psycho graphic segmentation is whereby you divide you target market according to attributes like personality, attitudes, interests or lifestyle and they are also referred to as I.A.O variables (for interests, activities, and opinions). Therefore as an upcoming entrepreneur, you have to take into consideration these factors.

IDENTIFY YOUR COMPETITORS

Who is a competitor? A competitor is a person, or organization/firm that is in the same business as yourself and poses challenges and limitations to your business since both of you sell and target the same customers. It is important for you to know people or organizations that you are competing with because it helps you identify their strengths weaknesses, challenges and limitation. strengths and opportunities of your competitors should be avoided as much as possible. You should instead concentrate on weaknesses and threats as this is one avenue of beating the competition. This is done through a process called competitive analysis.

Competitive analysis helps you to identify your strengths and opportunities (competitors’ weaknesses and threats) as well as those of your competitors. Competitive analysis is done both when doing internal and external environmental scanning. This knowledge gives you ideas on what areas to avoid and what areas to concentrate on when refining your product. Identifying your competitors’ weaknesses and threats and refining them to become your strength is the main reason behind competitive analysis. Your strengths and opportunities form your unique selling proposition or core competence. This core competitive advantage gives you a competitive edge over and above the competition and helps you stay ahead of the pack.

Competitive analysis is also important because it helps you achieve a sustainable competitive advantage which becomes you (unique selling proposition). When the right combination of circumstances and timings permit you take a specific action towards reaching a particular target market, an opportunity exists. These opportunities are presents periods of optimal fit between the key requirements of your target and the particular capabilities of your firm and are often referred to as strategic windows.

DEVELOPING THE MARKETING PLAN

PART TWO OF THIS ARTICLE WILL CONSIST OF THE MARKETING PLAN. BE SURE TO READ IT THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW.

If you are planning to start a business keep in mind the following factors:

— Uniqueness- your business should be unique so that you will have a unique selling proposition
— Leverage- The ability to use borrowed funds most profitably and generate enough capital.
— Turnkey business- You should be thinking of a business start-up whereby you do not need to be there for the business to operate.
— Internet business- I highly prefer an internet business. WHY? With internet business, you are assured that the business is international. This means that anybody can access your website without attracting unnecessary costs. It also helps you to create linkages with other businesses across the globe doing same business. This will help you exchange ideas with different entrepreneurs across the globe.

Frustrations of the Newbie – The Basics For Internet Business Success

Many will tell you places and platforms to use that will create success for you online, and many will tell you the tricks on how to outsmart many programs with many search engines. These are not the basics. The basics have been around forever and for those who are successful with their Internet businesses, they know this already. So here are a few of the basics that can help you find success on the Internet.

Basics are simply that, they are the basics such as; determination, action and decision. I would like to start with decision because this is the moment that you actually come to which will be the defining step in the direction of your success in any business, online or, offline for that matter. You have to make a decision it is a basic fact for success in anything on the Internet, it is the beginning of the road you are about to travel down. Are you looking on the Internet for some other way to create the life that you want that your current job or career will not give you? The answer is yes! or you would not be reading these words. You have to make the decision to move forward once your due diligence is done. I have a rule for myself when working with a prospect and it is that when all the questions are done, and answers given…I ask for a decision. They either move forward or they DECIDE to move backward. For those that do not make any decision at that point I make it for them and I MOVE ON to the next prospect because I cannot help you travel any further than you will go.

Once you have decided on what you want to do, it will take determination at the beginning to see that each goal you set is met. Determine the realistic goals you have for the business you have chosen to undertake, and determine to meet each goal at each specific time you chose. I specifically set myself a goal for the amount of time for me to recoup my initial investment in my business and I was determined to meet that goal. I did, and sooner than I thought. Determination: The quality of being determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose. The purpose is the meeting of your goals, be firm, be determined to meet them. Determination is a must attitude to acquire when it comes to the basics for any success to be found on the Internet.

READY… SET… ACTION! Action is needed and you will need to do something each and every day. Many Internet businesses might tell you that they are almost fully automated and this may true, but still, this is not “fully” automated. There will action and work involved and usually more than you think. Massive action is one of the basic fundamentals for success in any business, just as decision and determination. There are no free lunches anywhere and that includes any business on the Internet you choose to start or join. Action will be required here, but this action takes little amounts of time out of your day, not 8 hours of it for someone else’s benefit. This work could be only minutes to maybe an hour depending upon you and your goals.

The basics to any Internet business are the same basics that have been for brick and mortar businesses for as long as there has been “business”. It takes the basics of decision to go for it after all due diligence is done. It then takes determination to see whatever it is you have undergone to its completion, and remember, it is never truly complete because you will always learn and add that learning to your business. Action will be needed, even on the Internet. You will need to do the work that is required to have a successful business.

How To Acquire The Business Skills To Foster Successful Business Teamwork

Everyone is born with a certain personality type, and throughout life acquires a variety of skills that are used in personal and professional situations. Those attributes often dictate the way in which situations are handled and the level of success a person will achieve. These skills can, of course, be improved upon so that higher goals may be reached. When it comes to business teamwork, employees must work together to achieve goals.

Business skills can be acquired through education. Whether you are seeking a certification in a specific area or a full degree, there are a number of methods for receiving the education you need. You may take courses in the traditional method on a campus or choose to obtain them online.

Training is another important part of maintaining business skills. Training can result in a certification or in simply the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. Training can last for several sessions or only one, depending on the goal that is to be achieved. It is an important part of overall improvement and will help you keep your skills up-to-date.

Business skills can also constantly be improved through practice and experience. There is much knowledge that can be gained through frequent repetition of tasks, which only serves to build the experience necessary to achieve both personal and professional goals.

You will also have the opportunity to learn various skills by observing others in your industry and on your team. Think of people you admire for their abilities to get the job done in a manner that is successful and efficient. Talk to them to find out how they acquired their skills and learn from watching them in action. This will help to strengthen your team and promote the business teamwork that will make your business a successful endeavor.

There are many ways in which business skills can be acquired. Through constant work and attention to detail, improvements can be made that will have a positive effect not only on your organization but also on your career as a whole. New skills are learned through the improvement of those that already exist and positive change can then be implemented.

Building a Successful Business – How to Move Past the Fear of Success

According to statistics twice as many readers was interested in my article titled “How to learn to recognize your procrastination Patterns” as any other article that I have written. Now working as a coach this did not come as a surprise to me rather it reinforced my belief that “procrastination” is something that holds many people back from achieving their dreams/visions.

If this rings true with you I want to explore with you what the reasons for this could be and how to move on from there.

First let’s take a look at some of the very common reasons we give ourselves for not taking action on goals or dreams that our hearts and minds desire:

o There is not time enough
o There is not money enough
o “I am not ready for this”
o “I am too old for this”
o “I am not smart enough”

Hopefully you do not feel that all of these reasons rings true with you. However, if you recognize even one of these reasons I will challenge you to take a good honest look at this particular reason and examine whether it holds true or not.

Let’s take the first one as an example. “There is not time enough”. Well, while it is certainly true that time often flies by a whole lot faster than we would like it to it is equally true that what it all comes down to is a matter of keeping your priorities right.

These are a couple of questions I suggest you ask yourself:

1. What are my priorities?

2. Does each priority serve me in moving forward towards fulfilling my dream/vision?

3. What am I willing to say goodbye to because it no longer serves this purpose?

4. What is no one priority in helping me to move forward towards my dream/vision?

5. What is one action that I will commit to do as a result of this priority?

Taking an honest look at your procrastination patterns you may also find that what really is holding you back is not time or money, not being ready, your age or not feeling smart enough.

No what really is holding you back could very well be your fear of success!

This sounds strange I know you should think that the “fear of failure” most often would be the reason. However, when you carefully examine the underlying fear behind your procrastination patterns (in what ever form it comes) you could very well find that it is the “fear of success” that is the real issue.

I know this to be a fact with quite a few of my clients, however, fortunately in recognizing this issue they have also learned how to move beyond this fear. The way to do this is to look this specific fear in the eyes and to acknowledge it. From then you can start to explore your relationship to success and set your goals of how you would like it to be.

Then you feel the fear and do it anyways.

The Essential Ingredient to Success – Taking Action!

The way that I define success for myself is different than the way that you will for yourself. Indeed if you ask 10 people to define their idea of what success is for them, you will almost certainly get 10 quite different answers. That’s not a bad thing, it’s simply an expression of our individuality. Furthermore, if you can define what success looks like to you, then you’re ahead of the curve! There are those who never ask themselves that question. The one and only prerequisite to a good definition of success is you must create a picture of what you do want – not a picture of what you don’t want (or what you want to change to improve your circumstances). That one small thing will keep you stuck. But I digress. The point I’m making at the moment is that there is no specific template for success – it can be as different as night and day from person to person.

There is however, a common thread that runs through those who consistently achieve their goals and attain what they perceive and feel as a successful outcome. It is the one step that nobody can skip and hope to succeed. It matters not your talent, your ambition, your skills…even your belief if you do not master this step of the ladder. It’s called action.

This is precisely where many well intentioned goal setters get bogged down. Maybe some of these thoughts sound familiar to you: “Where do I start?” “Maybe I should do some more research first.” “I’ll get started tomorrow.” “I’ll plan some more so that I’m not jumping in too hastily.” “I’m too busy with day to day stuff right now.” And just so you know…those were not pulled out of a hat – they are exactly the sort of thoughts that once kept me from taking the action necessary to move in the direction of my goals. When I discovered that simple planning and action reaped amazing rewards all of the time, I soon left those days behind me.

What can you do? Plan and take action. Once you have committed your vision of success to an action plan and then followed through on the actions you planned, you are well on your way. The beauty is in the feeling of personal satisfaction you experience as you work through the action plans and see yourself moving toward your goals. There is no feeling quite like it in the world.

It’s important to realize and accept that the action road is not always a smooth one – it has its bumps and potholes. Perseverance and determination are equal partners to action insofar as the one can’t happen without the other. I will leave it to one of my most influential teachers Jack Canfield to describe this: “As you begin to take action toward the fulfillment of your goals and dreams, you must realize that not every action will be perfect. Not every action will produce the desired result. Not every action will work. Making mistakes, getting it almost right, and experimenting to see what happens are all part of the process of eventually getting it right.”

People often need some guidance or an extra push to get them started with their action plans. I know that I did, and I’m grateful for the many teachers and resources that helped me to develop success habits. A success coach or life coach is often a very wise investment to make in yourself. Another great habit to acquire is reading books and listening to what successful people have to say. A book I recommend is Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles.” My first exposure to it was the audio book version, and it impacted me greatly. It reveals very specific methodology about goal setting and organizing action steps. When Jack speaks, I listen. There’s many though, and I’m always on the lookout for more insight!

Whether you use a software program to help you organize your goals and action steps, or read books, or retain a coach or develop your own planning and action process – take the first step and get started today!

Successful Business Relationships

Successful business relationships are based on Value, Competence, Trust, and Propriety.

Value

Value: The customer’s perception of your worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance. Value addresses the customer’s question, “What can this person or company do for me?”

Value can be articulated by explicitly answering these questions throughout the sales cycle:

o How much? (what the customer can expect to gain by doing business with you — in increased sales, lower costs, etc.)

o How soon? (when the customer will be able to receive the value)

o How sure? (proof that the customer will in fact attain the value stated)

Provide norms for the customer so that there is little question of what the customer can expect from you: “We have a track record of providing a 15% cost savings and 90% product availability within 2 days of order.”

What are norms that your customers can expect you to live up to?

Remember, it is YOUR job to tell your customers what value they can expect — customers shouldn’t have to work to figure out the value themselves. If you don’t explicitly quantify the value your customer can expect to receive — and your competition may be doing this work for your customer — who is going to win the sale?

Competence

Competence: The customer’s perception of your skill, knowledge, and experience with respect to them or their business. Competence addresses the customer’s question, “Can this person or company do what they say they can do?”

Competence is demonstrated by the following:

o Completing and implementing an organized and logical sales approach

o Conveying an understanding of the customer and their business

o Demonstrating research and knowledge

o Substantiating your capabilities

o Involving team members appropriately and on a timely basis

The perception of competence is gained over time. As you work these guidelines into your approach to your customers, you will gain credibility and enhance your business relationships.

Trust

Trust: The customer’s confidence in your integrity, ability, and intent. Trust addresses the customer’s question, “Do I trust this person?”

Trust is demonstrated by the following:

o Using third party introductions

o Providing a letter of recommendation (objective references help build credibility)

o Displaying honesty, candor, empathy, and respect (show that you’ve done your homework, show a concern for their time and issues)

o Conveying win/win intent (concern for positive outcome/success for both parties)

o Above all, substantiate with action:

o Establish a track record of follow-through

o Set new norms (guidelines for expected behavior that are agreed to and that can be counted on)

Propriety

Propriety: The customer’s perception of the appropriateness or properness of your actions with respect to them or their business. Propriety addresses the customer’s question, “Is this person behaving properly or appropriately?”

Part of exhibiting propriety is in the way you present yourself. Over half of others’ perceptions of you is based — at least initially — on your appearance. Therefore, take care in your physical appearance, mannerisms, vocabulary, and business etiquette. If your first “appearances” occur on the phone, pay special attention to your tone, enthusiasm, and vocabulary.

A second, critical part of demonstrating propriety involves your adaptability to other people. In business, the Golden Rule — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” — is usually inappropriate. In fact, if you treat others as you want to be treated, you may end up ignoring their needs, wants, and expectations, which may be completely different from your own.

You must be astute enough to recognize others’ needs, wants, and expectations AND you must be flexible enough to treat people the way they want to be treated.
Relate to your customers in a way that makes them feel most comfortable. This decreases “relationship tension” and increases trust, credibility, cooperation, and the commitment to work with you.

Build your business relationships — and your future — by focusing on these critical elements of Value, Competence, Trust, and Propriety.

Terence R. Traut is the president of Entelechy, Inc., a company that helps organizations unlock the potential of their people through customized training programs in the areas of sales, management, customer service, and training. Terence can be reached at 603-424-1237603-424-1237 or [email protected]. Check out Entelechy’s website at http://www.unlockit.com.

Beyond the Tipping Point: What Makes a Successful Business Relationship Tip

What makes businesses successful?

This is a question that is often asked. It is also a question for which there are innumerable answers. Here are some…

A great idea or innovation? Yes.

An inspiring leader? Yes, that helps immensely.

The right timing in the market? Surely.

The right people? Yes, your team, your clients, your suppliers and your champions will all be key.

Admittedly, there is no one answer. However, for those who are familiar with Malcolm Gladwells’ The Tipping Point there are certainly key factors that determine success. According to Gladwell the tipping point is a signal of a key moment that unifies isolated events into a significant focus and trend. In the context of business, and let’s be more specific here, your business, the tipping point is about all that has gone before regarding you and your business coming together at a defined point in time and space when the “universe aligns” and your business finds and begins to truly fulfill its purpose and potential. In your market, you “arrive”.

This tipping point is often where people will proclaim you became an overnight success. We will likely all know someone or of someone in business who was or is such a wonder. We often forget the road that has been travelled to have that success breakthrough. Usually, there has been an investment of blood, sweat, tears and dogged determination through various challenges, ups, downs and failures.

Your success is determined by the size of your Comfort Zone. Your tipping point arises in and around that point of transformation at the edge of your Comfort Zone. It is at this point where change and transformation happens. You must embrace it. Do that and growth happens. After all, change is inevitable; growth is optional.

At this point of transformation, core to the concept of a tipping point, there is one key and common aspect that is notable…

Relationships

Relationships ultimately mean people. We often cannot breach our Comfort Zone without the assistance of others. That means relationships. And… You get the relationships and, therefore, the people you deserve. For your business or organization to become the success you desire you need to focus on what makes for a great relationship.

A consistent, simple and effective approach to improve your existing relationships and to ensure your future relationships are fruitful is to actually write out in detail the profile of your ideal relationship – whether that is with your own people, your clients, your suppliers and your other stakeholders. That exercise will give you clarity and focus regarding with whom you prefer to engage. Inevitably, just from that focus such relationships will begin to arise more easily and frequently. What you think about you bring about.

Now here is a further distinction on the importance of relationships when it comes to the success of your business and organisation.

We know that organizations are founded and led by people. For an organization to be a success they require a thriving relationship with other organizations and, therefore, people. A relationship with another organization will have originated as a result of an initial key relationship with a person…

A Tipping Person.

Think Napoleon Hill, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Bob Proctor, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell or that successful business person you know. Their success and/or that of their organizations has been determined by a tipping person or persons. Gladwell describes such persons as the Connector, the Maven and the Salesman.

Admittedly, that person can be a friend or foe, an ally or adversary, a champion or a competitor. Either way that person is a catalyst for your success. Where that person is more adversarial, that “relationship” often spring-boarded them to a positive relationship with another key favourable person.

So, no matter your business – small, medium, large – your success is determined by the quality of your relationships – specific relationships or, rather…

Relation-tips

Picking up on Gladwell’s principle, to reach this relation-tip will likely mean you have had to kiss a few frogs to get there. Everyone who happens in your life is moving you toward your goals and progresses your journey of success. Certainly, from experience, some of those frogs may even be of no apparent value however, in the words of Ann Landers

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who is of no value to him.

An approach of kindness and a willingness to help all who cross your path will stand you in good stead. A key lesson learned here is that, in the words of a business friend of mine,

“Every dud knows a stud!”

That is, you never know who they know and to whom they would be willing to introduce you – it just may be to that key relation-tip. That key relationship tips the balance in favour of you and your organization and your success manifests more assuredly – it is that breakthrough or watershed point where everything goes from strength to strength.

Such a relation-tip implies that people are definitely getting along. When that happens, then people will come along, they will follow – businesses, people, clients, customers and suppliers. When that happens your success increases, often at a more accelerated rate than ever before.

Whilst you may have undertaken that exercise mentioned above of describing in detail the profile of your ideal business relationships, there are some contributing factors that will attract and retain that key relation-tip that will cascade your success.

1. Vision

If you do not know where you are going it is unlikely many people and businesses will come alongside and want to join you on your directionless journey. As Proverb 29:18 reads, Where there is no vision people perish. To succeed you must lead; to lead you must see; when you see you must share it. When you do, the right people begin to show up.

2. Values

Knowing your values and using them as a filter for all your relationships will pay dividends. A relation-tip is beneficial and often one that is long-term. Most, if not all, significant, synergistic long-term relationships are founded upon similar core values. When you broadcast openly your values you will attract people and organizations of similar values.

3. Passion

Passion is attractive. Passion raises the energy and magnetises relationships who share the passion. Passion is contagious. Be contagious.

4. Empathy

Empathy is essential to create and build rapport; it is a keystone for building long-term relationships. Consider the Oxford Dictionary definition of rapport:

“a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.”

5. Communication

The ability to communicate effectively and efficiently externally and internally – with yourself, your people, your clients, your suppliers and your market is essential. Without communication there is no relationship. Remember that communication is the response you get. To get your relation-tip you must excel at communication.

6. Friendliness

People and organizations alike prefer to associate with people they like and people like them. Your success is dependent on relationships. Move in circles where your ideal client moves; hang around those people and organizations you emulate. Great relationships are often great friendships. To attract such friends you must first be one. The application of the Golden Rule applies here – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

7. Action

Taking action will keep you moving forward and will lead you to learn more lessons, refine your approach and engage with more people. The more action you take the more attractive you become because action creates attention. Success will not happen without action. Relationships are kinetic not inert.

Whilst these seven contributing factors are important for a relation-tip, the list is not exhaustive. You will likely be able to add to it. Go ahead.

In summary, success is dependent on relationships. Along your journey of success there will be a tipping point that occurs because of a key relationship. That key relationship, whether it is with another organization or business, starts with a key person – a tipping person. That tipping person becomes a pivotal point in your success and that of your business or organization. That tipping person is a relation-tip. To accelerate the manifestation of that key relation-tip and, thereby, your success integrate, establish and openly display the seven attraction attributes. Your success is looming.

Copyright 2011

10 Simple Rules For Growing a Successful Business

After spending 16 years running six businesses, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it really takes to create success as an entrepreneur. And I’ll tell ya, most of what my Mom told me-and most of what I believed going into the first four businesses-turned out to be dead wrong.

In each of my early businesses, the busier I got the more of my life I gave up. Soon I was working ridiculous hours but I didn’t have a whole lot in my bank account to show for it. On top of that, I was basically chained to my computer.

Since my vision of success was working 25-30 hours a week and having plenty of time to ski, mountain bike, kayak and travel, I wasn’t too happy about the whole “you gotta give up your life to start a business” concept. But I did it. And frankly, it didn’t get any better until I decided to hell with that…There has to be another way!!

Thank goodness I found it! To help you get on the road to creating the business-and life-you’ve always dreamed of, below are ten simple rules I’ve developed that helped me unchain myself from my business, create more success, and enjoy my life WAY more.

1. It’s up to you. Anyone who wants to have a successful, thriving business-and a fulfilling personal life-should be able to. Remember, it’s your business and your life. You have the power to make them be any way you want.

2. Marketing isn’t an optional expense. It’s a mandatory investment in the success of your business.

3. Health and happiness are critical. Sleep, get exercise, eat healthy, enjoy a hobby and take care of yourself. You always attract more success when you feel your best.

4. Have fun. If it isn’t fun make it fun, don’t do it at all, or find someone else to do it for you!

5. Redefine success on your terms. Success is not defined by how many hours you work in your business, but by how many hours you’re able to spend NOT working in it!

6. Be yourself. It’s better to be yourself versus what you think others want you to be-even in business. These days the best branding is personable, authentic and unique.

7. Spend some time unplugged each week. Go out in the woods or a park or a lake somewhere where you can hear yourself think. Voice mail and off buttons exist for a reason.

8. Just do it. While it’s always good to do research and analysis, at some point you just have to trust your gut, make a decision and take action.

9. It’s not what happens that matters, but how you deal with it. Changes that seem forced on you are almost always a good thing for your business in the long run (IE “The universe knows more than you do. Stop fighting it.”).

10. Face your fears. The very things that scare you the most when it comes to marketing and growing your business are probably the things you most need to be doing.