6 Success Tips of Successful Business People
Successful businesspeople are great sources of advice and tips. It’s typically in the category of too-obvious-to-mention advice, but you know that when several successful entrepreneurs all say the same thing it’s likely something worth noting.
Do what you enjoy.
This is the most frequently offered piece of advice, from people as varied as Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffet, suggesting it should probably be top-of-mind when selecting a career or business.
For instance, Oprah Winfrey says: “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.” Warren Buffet puts it only slightly differently: “Follow your passion. I always tell college students to take the job that you would take if you were independently wealthy. You’re going to do well at it.”
Steve Jobs put it as follows: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s going to be safe to assume that fact will be reflected in the success of your business – or lack of it. So this is probably simple advice worth heeding – do something you enjoy!
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
Again, it’s almost too obvious to mention, but is one of those pieces of advice that can pull you back from catastrophic spur-of-the-moment decisions. Planning is important because it requires you to analyse each business situation, research and compile data, and make conclusions based mainly on the facts, as opposed to adopting some strange get-rich-quick racket your brother-in-law came up with.
Whatever you set out to do, do it with a positive frame of mind.
Jeff Weiner, CEO: LinkedIn, gave his story in a 2012 post at LinkedIn: “As a child, I can’t recall a day that went by without my dad telling me I could do anything I set my mind to. He said it so often, I stopped hearing it. Along with lines like ‘eat your vegetables’, I just assumed it was one of those bromides that parents repeated endlessly to their kids. It wasn’t until decades later that I fully appreciated the importance of those words and the impact they had on me.”
Don’t be negative – you often have but a passing moment to make a positive, incredible impression, so have the attitude that you have something to offer this world!
Listen, get to know your customers.
Steven Spielberg, film director and producer, was interviewed in Good Housekeeping: “From a very young age, my parents taught me the most important lesson of my whole life: Listen to everybody before you make up your own mind. When you listen, you learn. You absorb like a sponge. Your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time.”
Maureen Chiquet, Global CEO, Chanel once quoted advice she in turn received from Mickey Drexler, CEO of Gap at the time, that stayed with her lifelong: “I’m going to give you some important advice. You’re a terrific merchant. But you’ve gotta learn to listen!”
‘Listening’ may seem like obvious advice – but try it and you’ll soon realise how few people really listen. Your business is not about the prices you charge, or about how to beat your competition – it’s all about your customers, or clients, period.
Failure & perseverance.
The sad thing about South Africa is that business failure is regarded as a death sentence, whereas in successful entrepreneurial countries like the US, failure is a just a stepping stone to future success.
Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC, said: “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labour, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”
Richard Branson, Virgin Founder, said in an interview with The Good Entrepreneur: “My mother always taught me never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me. I have fun running ALL the Virgin businesses — so a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”
Also take time off.
Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc., once said: “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”
The temptation to work around the clock is very real for some small business owners – so create a proper schedule and stick to it. All work and no play can burn you out very fast – and grouchy customer service is not going to win you customers.