We attend workshops, seminars, conferences, and other events to get advice and new ideas for improving our businesses. That’s why many keynote speakers are often accomplished and have years of experience in what they do.
There is no such thing as knowing all there is about business. Even billionaires on the Forbes list still create time to learn new ways to improve their business management skills.
I bet that’s why Henry Ford once said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young."
Since there is always one more thing to learn, here’s Marie's advice to business owners.
1. Develop Your Support Network
You have heard and read that lack of capital is one of the primary causes of business failure. However, there are more forms of capital; each adds value to your business's growth and survival. For example, your skills are an invaluable asset to your business's success.
Social capital is another vital form of business capital, as outlined by Porter Gale in his book, "Your Network is Your Net Worth."
Porter Gale argues that your ability to network with people who share your interests and values provides a stronger foundation to build on your business success. Moreover, the key to effective networking is remaining true to your passions and values.
Likewise, Marie Lewis believes that business owners require a support system to succeed. You should also play your role in helping and working together with other business owners to help them reach their potential.
Reach out for help when you need it. It will help you grow your business faster.
2. Define Your Purpose
You have to be clear on what you want to do and achieve in your life. Knowing your purpose leads to specialization. You become focused on doing what you love and can do best.
Liz Wessel, co-founder and CEO of WayUp, says one of the best life advice she has ever received is "choose your career as you would your spouse." You will probably be spending more time in your job than your spouse.
If that is the case, ensure what you do offers you fulfillment. It must make you feel important and define your contribution to the world.
When you find your purpose, it’ll help you define your niche and focus as an entrepreneur. It will influence the kind of business you establish and the products and services you provide to your potential customers.
It will also influence your level of commitment towards your business. So, don't be in a rush to define your purpose yet. Take your time and analyze your strengths, weaknesses, passions, and areas you need to improve.
3. Learn Continuously
If you want to grow your business, you must adopt a growth mindset. That is the only way you will help your business remain adaptable to the many fast changes occurring in this era.
Therefore, you should actively seek opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge. If you aren't a fan of reading books, you can learn through:
Conversing with industry experts
Educative documentaries and TV programs
Educative YouTube channels
Did you know that Elon Musk self-taught himself with skills such as computer programming, rocketry, control systems, and electric motors? At the age of 12 years, Elon Musk had already created and made money selling his first computer game.
Till today, Elon Musk never stops learning new skills. He is said to read over 100 books in a year.
The Royal Executive Assistant CEO, Marie Lewis, shares the self-learning traits with Elon Musk. She is a self-taught systems guru. Like Elon Musk, Marie challenges business owners to read regularly. Also, ensure you read widely, including things not in your expertise.
Reading widely lets you understand the concept behind systems, policies, strategies, and almost everything around you. Once you grasp the concept, it is easier to innovate and develop creative solutions to challenges outside your field of specialization.
That's what makes Elon Musk an equally good business CEO as a product engineer. He reads widely about running profitable businesses and uses his self-taught skill to participate actively in product engineering.
4. Develop Resilience
As you may have noticed, being an entrepreneur is not a walk in the park. It is a profession that is full of challenges and has a demanding schedule. Being a successful entrepreneur requires you to stay agile.
That means you must have high adaptability and flexibility skills. You also need strong emotional and mental resilience to handle your business journey's ups and downs.
You can always be certain that change is inevitable in a business environment. But how fast you can adapt your business to this change makes the difference.
Of course, continuous learning will help you develop better resilience. You will come across tips and strategies other successful entrepreneurs or professionals have used to improve their agility.
In the meantime, here are some tips Marie recommends to improve your resilience:
Learn to celebrate even the small achievements
Don't forget your purpose
Embrace failures as opportunities to learn
Develop a positive mindset
Learn several stress management techniques
Learn to embrace feedback, whether positive or negative
5. Communicate Effectively
Your business may be separate from its owner, but you also contribute to its brand image. Small business owners are the face of their brands. That’s why you put your face on your website. You want your visitors and potential customers to know who the person behind the brand is.
As the face of your brand, you need to communicate effectively to give your brand credibility. Your communication skills will determine how well you can express your business vision clearly, your ideas, and how you sell your brand to others.
For example, Steve Jobs's excellent communication skills were a major force in Apple's marketing success. Steve Jobs eloquently explained the reasons behind Apple's every move, earning them some loyal customers.
Enhance your communication skills because it will help you develop empathy and emotional intelligence to connect with customers. Remember, you will be dealing with various customer personalities, and it's your job to keep them happy.
Effective communication skills also entail becoming an active listener. Successful business owners actively listen to their internal and external customers. Listen to your employees to get ideas for improving your business processes and product offerings. Also, listen to your customers to identify their unique needs.
It will enable you to develop better customer relationships. For example, if you employ an email marketing technique, you must actively listen to your customer to better personalize your communications with them.
Need More Advice or Support from Marie?
"My role is to help business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders create efficient systems and processes to increase productivity and achieve their goals. I'm passionate about helping others simplify their lives and create meaningful impacts."-Marie Lewis. Therefore, book a call today if you need support to run your business efficiently.