When you have your own business there is no one who can define success but you. In a regular job, you have metrics you are measured by, above this number is good, below it is bad. When you are the boss those numbers don’t come from an outside source. Some numbers have a bearing, for example, above this many sales and we can pay all our bills and below we can’t, but those don’t necessarily define success, they just define reality. So, what does success mean to you? I have run businesses where success wasn’t measured with money or other standard business metrics, it was measured by how much I learned and grew. Others were more practical, I make a certain amount of money and keep expenses below a certain percent and I was successful. Currently, it is more complex with a monetary component and an educational one. I have a goal for the number of people I want to teach but still provide a reasonable living for my family.
Above all make sure your success is internally defined and not externally. If you look to outside sources to define your success for you or try to keep up with someone else, your chances of success diminish significantly. It’s ok to use outside info to make your definition, for example figuring out costs for maintaining a lifestyle, but the motivation and the drive for success has to come from within. When your definition comes from an internal source you are motivated and driven to achieve that success and it will be easier to drive toward. Make sure you write it down so that once you get there you can celebrate that success and maintain it. Without that definition in writing it is easier to lose focus and remember why you are doing what you do.
My Business Adviser is tooting its own horn a bit this week and talking about how I can help you. I personally have never run across a business that didn’t need some level of business coaching….maybe not me, but they needed help from someone. We all try to do everything ourselves with mixed results. We can’t be experts at everything which is why we bring in other people to help out. Myself, I have to have a brilliant accountant because that is my weak point. I know the basics but my accountant fills in the knowledge gaps for me. Here is a quick infographic talking about Business Coaches in general. I will share stories this week as well and feel free to send me any questions you might have.
Building a real team is hard work. Most organizations stop at building workgroups and never go further. That is unfortunate because teams are 6 times more productive than workgroups. Here are some tips for building your team.
To be seen as a leader you should build your leadership library. No one is ever going to see your leadership library (unless they see it one book at a time as you read), but having one and using it will build your reputation as a leader. Leadership is a skill to be honed and perfected and one of the ways to do that is books. You should be reading the books of leaders who inspire you. Of course, don’t JUST read, write the thoughts you have about the book out and use them. If you only read and don’t implement what you have learned, why waste your time reading? You should have a leadership notebook that contains these thoughts and action plans. Review it regularly (I recommend first thing every morning). Over time these action plans will become action habits and it will be noticed. So remember, always have something you are reading about leadership. Here is a short list of my favorite books on the subject.
Your Leadership Story by Tim Tobin
All Star Sales Teams by Dan Kleinman
Managing Change by Harvard Business Press
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury
Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge by Bennis and Nanus
Leadership by James Burns
On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
New Patterns in Management by Rensis Likert
-My list goes on…..what are your favorite leadership books?