Hello, I’m Naomi Burgess and I’m going to give you some insights into how to create your own success story and how to stay successful.
How you define success?
To write your own success story, you must first understand what success means to you and your business. Is it high levels of income? Stable growth? Successful teamwork and client relationships? Spiritual happiness? Or something else entirely? The answer to this question is – it’s completely up to you. Success means different things to everyone, and you have to figure out what it means to you and go from there. That means following a plan. There would be occasional times when you would have to deviate from the set plan, but for the most part, you should stick to it – it will bring you more opportunities that work for YOU and YOUR business in the long run. And sticking to the plan means carefully looking for opportunities that you need to take advantage of in order to further your success.
Focus on your definition of success
Of course, each business is unique, even within the same industry, and other people’s idea of being successful might differ slightly or substantially from yours. While I’d be the last person to frown upon learning from other people’s experiences, it’s very important for you and your business to not be distracted by other people’s notions of success. This means actively seeking out opportunities that work for you in particular, not other people.
Successful people took the risk
Most opportunities, whether they come from the government, external finance sources, or within the business, carry a degree of risk with themselves, some a higher degree than others. It’s up to you to make a decision about how much risk you’re willing to bear in order to come out on top. Risks can bring positive, as well as negative consequences and you should look at each opportunity carefully before you make a decision about how to proceed.
Examine every opportunity
Such a decision would ultimately rest on your shoulders because it’s YOUR unique business. Each businesses have different needs and capable of withstanding different degrees of risks. For some businesses, “playing it safe” is the way to go, and if staying stable and secure equals success for you, that’s wonderful. If, however, you’ve run into financial trouble or need additional external finance for any other reason, taking out a loan could be a risk you should consider taking to stay successful. If your business is your life and you’ve invested a lot in it, chances are that growth and expansion are what success is to you, so you’re likely faced with many risky opportunities and have the experience of dealing with them. Nonetheless, in today’s rapidly changing landscape of business, you should consider each opportunity carefully, even if you believe yourself to be an experienced entrepreneur, before you decide to bear the risks.
What to Prioritize?
Some of you might consider your business venture to be your life, whereas others might merely see it as a “job”. In my experience, both groups sometimes make the mistake of forgetting personal goals unrelated to the job. While money and business growth are important, you shouldn’t put your personal happiness last, even if to you being happy means spending your days at the office. However, like business opportunities, personal opportunities also come with risks, and again, it’s up to you to balance them against the risks that come with business opportunities. That balance and the decisions you make as a result is what should be the driving force behind your success story, no matter what it means to you. Prioritising is the key here; don’t make the mistake of putting your business first time and time again and eventually forgetting about your personal success story. Even if your business and your personal success stories have a lot of common elements, they are not the same story, and you should take that into account before you make particularly significant decisions.
Ask yourself these questions
Remember that, unless you’re a sole trader, other people are affected by your business, as well as personal, decisions too. You should therefore be careful when making them. To help you out, I made a list of possible questions you should ask yourself when making a decision that could be either very positive or very detrimental for your business and yourself:
- Will this decision increase the business revenues?
- Will this decision contribute to the business growth?
- How will this decision affect the people I work with?
- How will this decision impact my personal life?
- How does this decision fit in with my long-term plan for my business?
This list is, of course, not exhaustive – depending on the nature of your business, there are many other aspects you should consider before making a decision that will either help you write your success story or cost your business a lot of money or opportunities.
Opportunities can come, as I mentioned above, from within the company itself, the government and external finance sources, as well as other business owners. When they come from the government, it’s usually in the country’s economy’s interests for you to be successful. If, for example, you get an offer for a training program sponsored by the government and you believe that it would be of a great benefit for your business, it might be worth it to sacrifice some off-time to attend the program. When the opportunities come from banks (for example, phone calls from the sales people about funding opportunities), I suggest that, if you believe that your business could use some extra money (if you’re buying a new property, for example), you spend some time doing research into the offer and decide to accept it only after you analyse your company’s finances and familiarise yourself with the offer’s terms and conditions. If you haven’t worked with that particular financial institution in the past, due diligence is an absolute must, if you’re leaning towards accepting the offer.
Everybody writes their success stories differently, but all of them have something in common – they’re written by people, not businesses. YOU are the one who decides where the story goes. Remember that, and you and your business would have no problem reaping the fruit of success.