Entrepreneurs! 5 Traits That Will Help You Succeed!
1) YOU CAN'T DO EVERYTHING!!
Yes you are the owner, and that makes you the Boss! The buck stops here and of of that B.S. that everyone so freely throws around. But I was there in the trenches and you must be level headed and always on your game! However, you are not all things to all people. Sometimes you aren't even the best employee sometimes, especially for all the different functions within any organization.
It is your job however, to know what you are good at and hand over the things you are weak at! So pick your role or roles and focus on it. No LASER focus on it! Then you go and fill in the gaps with the most qualified people you can find and afford!
Which nicely slips me right into Trait #2 which is.....
2) HIRE THE SMARTEST PEOPLE YOU CAN TO FILL YOUR EXECUTIVE ROLES!!
Identify what you need, budget for it and then aggressively go find those people. Be resourceful. You can visit local Universities, job boards and many other places that won't cost you finder's fees etc..
These people are going to be part of your inner circle, the backbone, the creatives, the financial wizards, whatever! Whatever they are, make sure you get the best you can possibly get.
Are you still the owner? Sure you are, but these people you find you should be able to entrust and not have to worry about their performance or judgement in their roles. If you have to worry about more than 5% of what they do, you haven't done your job. You want rocks in these positions, and yes, you might even have to open the purse strings a little wider at first to lure them in, but it will be well worth it as time goes by. Trust me. Do not try and cut corners here!
If you do, your corners will start to collapse along with everything around you and you will wind up in a straight jacket! This is essential and sooooo many people get this wrong. They hire, "nice" fits. Forget that, you want people that challenge you and can even outwit you. This isn't a popularity contest it is all about skill. Get the skill and nail it!!
3) ALWAYS TREAT YOUR EMPLOYEES WITH RESPECT!!
Huge, huge, HUGE!! Unless things have changed drastically over the years, everyone puts their pants on the same way everyday! Make sure you treat your employees like that. Now I'm not saying be a pushover or Willy Wonka from the chocolate factory, but make sure you are respectful, compassionate and friendly to every employee. They are ALL part of your dream, and they are helping you achieve that goal! Remember that. This is NOT a sign of a weak leader. This is the sign of a very bright business person. These people all have lives, families, problems, good times, bills, worries and everything else that goes along with life in general. Treat them well and you will get back your little time of being respectful, tenfold!!
A good company culture is extremely important. These are your assets, but they are human beings first. You must remember that!
4) DON'T BE AFRAID TO ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG!!!
So, there are going to be times when your decisions just don't work out! The sooner you realize it, own up to it and circle the wagons, the better! Don't be so hard headed just to spite everything or so prideful you twist the course that went astray! I mean there are going to be times alternatively that things may seem to be not working out but, deep down in your heart of hearts you know you will prevail. Now this is a very fine line, but it comes with the name on the door. "Heavy is the Crown"!
Hey, when you are obviously wrong, you are wrong! Admit it, own it and move the "F" on!! Minimizing the damage should then become your number 1 priority. Get back on the horse and reformulate what you were trying to do, or discard it completely until you know you have it nailed. You want to live for another day, fight the next fight, so move on, go to Plan B.
If there is no Plan B, SHAME on you! Never go into anything with that kind of tunnel vision. Even the most brilliant minds in business in history didn't hit it out of the park every swing. ALWAYS have an alternative..
5) MAKE SURE YOU TAKE ENOUGH TIME OFF FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR OTHER INTERESTS!!!
Here is my last entry. Now, I know a lot of you are probably saying, hey, you own a business its 24/7!! You have to be there, you have to always be this or that! MALARKEY!!!
Remember Trait #2?? Take a look back at this article. That's why I have numbered them like this. OK.
My single biggest fault when I bought my biggest acquisition at the ripe old age of 37 with a wife and 2 children was I didn't take any time off!!
That's right, from that time in 1997, actually a little before that, I never took more than 5 days in a row off until 2012!! I mean I went 15 Years in that mode. Want to talk about sub consciously trying to kill yourself, never mind the burn out syndrome, or the jaded thoughts you get because you never unwind!
I would take a long weekend, you know a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, or a week here and there. Now I'm saying maybe once or twice a year.What a mistake. Not only did my wife and family need me, I needed to re charge, or just RELAX!! Now I don't know about you but with a week vacation, it takes me until about Tuesday or Wednesday to start uncoiling. So that really doesn't do the trick! Everyone needs a break and if you have the right pieces in place there is absolutely no reason you can't take a few 10 day trips or a two week vacation once in awhile. If you can't do this, there is something drastically wrong with your organizational chart!
You know you'd just start to relax and boom you were flying back in, flying through your brain all the things you have to catch up on and start getting things back in motion, blah, blah, blah.
In reality, if you have the right setup, these things should already be executed when you walk back into the building.
After all you are THE BOSS. Learn to put down the Gavel once in awhile and enjoy life, with your family or friends or your other interests. I cannot stress how important this last Trait is. Taking some time away also may give you some ideas or renewed motivation. It will also give your hand picked executives the time to spread their wings a little bit and you will end up with an even stronger organization for it, trust me. If I had to this over again, I would definitely have taken some more time off. Please take my advice, you will be so much better off in the large scheme of things.
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