Being in business is exhilarating. As an entrepreneur, you will quickly realize the benefits of running the show. You get to spend hours doing what you love and you set your own work schedule. You can push yourself as hard as you want and the results are all yours at the end.
The best part – there’s no barrier to your income and wealth.
However, running a business is anything but easy. Your bad habits and subconscious biases expose your business to risks that could seriously impact performance. The way you live your life and think will ultimately determine how well your business does.
So, here are six adjustments you can make to help your business get better results:
Take the time to improve your business by learning new skills. This could involve enrolling in an MBA program or simply reading a lot throughout the year. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have been avid readers. Bill Gates, for example, has always claimed that his voracious reading habit is the reason for his success. He even publishes a list of his favorite books each year. One of the books he recommended last year was Shoe Dog which is the memoir of Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
Reading and learning about the world is likely to broaden your worldview and help you take more informed decisions. It’s an invaluable skill to have when you’re trying to create an enterprise.
Talk To Strangers
Building on the constant learning theme it’s worth mentioning that you can learn a lot more from people than you could from books. Learning from different people lets you observe things from their perspective. It’s important to reach out of your comfort zone and speak to people you don’t really relate to or understand very well. While you can, of course, learn from your loved ones, conversations with absolute strangers could be an enlightening experience.
This will also allow you to practice another key business skill – networking. Regardless of your industry, there’s a good chance your business thrives on the network you’ve painstakingly created over the years. By talking to more strangers you can build on this network and create a circle of influence that will aid the business.
This isn’t mentioned a lot, but it’s true – capitalism is about helping others. Even if you are hell-bent on extracting profits you’ll probably realize that those profits can only come from satisfying the market’s need. It’s all about meeting demand, and by creating value you’re indirectly helping a ton of people. Your customers rely on the service, while your employees rely on the business. Taking care of these stakeholders is the key to running a business.
Take the time to reevaluate your priorities. Prioritize people and aim to serve them better. Delivering value will ultimately help your business succeed.
Some of the biggest and most successful businesses on the planet are really very simple. Apple manufacturers four to five different devices and sells them at a profit, Walmart buys goods at wholesale prices and sells it at convenient locations, Uber connects you to a driver when you want to get places. There’s a lot of power in simplicity. Simplifying helps you focus on your core strengths and deliver great results.
Try to cut back on the number of projects you handle simultaneously. Focus on a few key tasks and simplify your day. Don’t let anything nonessential or frivolous distract you from your goals. You’ll be surprised with the long-term results of this.
Speaking of simplification, it’s worth considering how you spend your time. It’s easy to get trapped in the perfectionist mindset. Most entrepreneurs start off thinking they can do everything themselves and they can’t trust others to deliver the same quality. But freeing up your time and delegating tasks to others is essential if you want to see your business grow.
As a business leader, your time is best spent on the big picture. Spend time on the creative aspects of your business, like thinking about new products and unique services. Leave the grunt work to others. Hire staff to tackle monotonous tasks and consider using software to make your life as an entrepreneur easier. Also, consider hiring experts in the fields you’re not good at. You can’t be a brilliant financial analyst and a software engineer at the same time, so hire someone else to do it better than you.
Take Time Off
Finally, it’s important to unwind and take time off from everything. You could be working around the clock as you get the business started initially, but don’t make the mistake of pushing yourself till you burn out. Sometimes 12 or 14 hour days are unavoidable. But it’s important to know when to take a step back and relax. Remember that your biggest responsibility is the big-picture stuff. This requires good judgment and creative thinking – both of which will be impossible if you’re stressed or sleep deprived.
Being in business isn’t about working yourself to death. In fact, stress and pressure can have a negative impact on your health and judgment. Instead of aiming for getting the most done, aim to get the most done in the easiest way possible. Economics professors will be quick to point out that wealth-creation isn’t about hard work but about productivity. Being more productive and efficient is actually the key to better performance.
To sum up, learn constantly, speak to strangers to learn from their experiences, understand the value of your business to others, simplify your life, delegate where required, and take time off when necessary. These six adjustments to your life can help you boost your business substantially. Each one of them is crucial.