So often when building a business we are captivated by an idea, a motivation or a passion. Unfortunately, most of us tend to dismiss those thoughts. By ourselves (or with the help of others) we decide they were foolish, wasteful, too scary or just plain crazy. If you are a driven individual, like me, you refuse to listen to the naysayers and you continue to move forward. At times, you may be revisited by those same negative voices encouraging you to quit, but you aren’t interested in just keeping your dream alive. You want a thriving business future.
Many times, I have had to motivate a dream beyond what I can see and feel. I want to share with you some of the steps I have taken that keep me going long after others have told me to just “Stop!”
In every business I start, I realize I have two primary responsibilities. I start by knowing I have two businesses to consider. The first one is for my customers and the second business is for my team. You have to be willing to take care of both. Yes, it’s your dream and you need to protect it, but you have to surround yourself with others who share your dream.
It starts by creating the work environment you want. You need to be willing to not only fight for the best “widget” or service for your customers, but also for the best people to work alongside you. Pull together a team that will create the best environment to work in. Don’t just look for the most qualified people, but look for people that are qualified and will work best in your culture. Life is too short to drag someone along who does not fit.
It’s a nice saying, but it’s the wrong question. The right question is, “Who are my customers?” If your goal is to please everyone, you are already finished. Serve the people you can and be honest when you cannot. That’s how you will thrive. The truth is you aren’t helping either of you by continuing to work together. The customer will thank you…eventually. Your staff will probably take you out to lunch!
Everything doesn’t always work out. So what? Always look at where you’re going and make sure it lines up with your vision. Your decision to say “no” to something is just as valid as saying “yes.” If you make 95% of your income during 80% of your daily activities, don’t worry about that last 5% on the other 20% of your time. Be bold. Get rid of the 20% whether they’re customers or employees. Don’t look back. You will free up 50% more time to be able to do what you once said “no” to.
No matter how independent we think we are, we’re going to listen to someone else at some time. We all have our weaknesses and shortcomings. If you don’t know what yours are, don’t worry because someone will show up to tell you eventually. Don’t be afraid of your weaknesses. The key is to find others who are strong where you are weak. If you don’t like doing something, find someone who does. Do not be afraid to pay for it.
When you get to a day when everything appears to be going wrong and you’re painting a situation with the brush of gloom and doom, sit back and ask yourself what’s the opposite. I am having a great day and this is just a momentary blip on my business radar. It’s the truth. Don’t buy trouble from anyone or anything. You have the answer. You just don’t see it yet. If something doesn’t work, change it. If it worked before but doesn’t now, fix it. Leave it alone if it’s working.
Let your team members excel in their gifting. Too often we don’t give them any freedom to fail. After all, we failed at times. If you can empower them to be responsible and grow in their role, they’ll take the burden off of you. A strong staff can bring your business way beyond the place you could bring it on your own.
If you don’t trust them in their position, they’ll know it. Even worse, you’re going to end up doing their job for them because they are afraid to take the responsibility. One of our key value points at Traxia is whatever you do, you are the primary person responsible. You need to involve others as it affects them and you. The bottom line is you get to make the final decision. If it works well, you get the praise. If it doesn’t, you are the sole person responsible to fix it. This allows everyone to have ownership in the business and we all know owners take care of the business.
Early on in my business, I tried to do everything my customers wanted. When I met their needs, it was really nice to get their positive affirmation. After a while, I realized that when the tail wags the dog too long my staff was getting worn out. They were trying to make it work for one individual at the expense of everyone else.
I hope one or more of these tips help you grow from a visionary dreamer to building the business of your dreams. It’s your vision, but it will die with you unless you can pass it on to others. The only one who can stop you from thriving is you.