Timeless Rules for Success
1. Build your success on something you love
How many times have you heard this? People often approach me asking to come work for me. One of the first questions I ask is, What do you love to do? We talk and find out what they love and what would be the right kind of work for them.
I once asked a man who was out of work what he loved to do. His answer: “I have always wanted to be a Zamboni driver.” Why not? If you do something you enjoy, you will be successful at it.
2. Focus your attention on the basic things people want and need.
We often forget to listen (guilty!). If we really listen to what someone is saying, we can figure out (often together) what their needs and wants are and how to meet them.
3. Create a business plan that allows you to stay true to your big idea and focus on the details.
Then be flexible to change as it grows. In school when we had a paper to write, we created an outline. The outline represented our big ideas and how they were going to play out, from beginning to end. After outlining, we got to work filling in the details.
We are all writing our own outlines for our success story.
4. Build an A-Team.
Surround yourself with the best. If you want to attract the best team, treat them well, listen to them, pay them well, make them feel valued, and educate them on changes in your industry. They will rave about where they work and you’ll have an endless supply of top-notch people to choose from. Only pick the ones with the right attitude and aptitude—you can train these people.
I hired someone with only a few years of accounting experience and a background in economics. Her attitude and aptitude was amazing! She learned everything we could teach her and become an outstanding employee in a short time.
5. Take risks not chances.
Risks are calculated. What is the return on this risk? Chances are random acts—is the jump a risk or a chance?
Take the risk. Build out what it will look like in the future and work backward from there.
6. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just done well.
So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges. What is perfect, anyway? Life isn’t! You have to roll with what you have. It’s not the problem at hand, but how you deal with it.
You can experience analysis paralysis if you continue to improve something until it’s perfect. But don’t put garbage out there. That will ruin your brand.
7. Make it beautiful.
Whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy. If you make widgets, make them beautiful. If you supply clients with profit and loss statements, make them clear, easy to understand, and visually attractive.