If you want to be the best in your field, here are some things you can do that can put you ahead of the pack:
1. Ask big questions.
If you only ask practical, logistical, small questions, you’ll just get the small answers that will keep your business going, but not growing. Pursue the big questions: “What’s a better way to approach this? How can I change our business for the better?” Bigger questions demand bigger answers. And those lead to bigger successes.
2. Get a mentor who’s different from you.
You want a mentor who can open you up to new and different ideas and approaches. You want someone who supports what you’re doing, but who might come from a different business area, like manufacturing. They’ll contribute new perspective, frank insights and innovative feedback.
3. Be true to yourself.
You can’t lead if you’re always trying to act the way you think others would like you to. You can’t please everybody, but if you simply be yourself, you’ll find the right people will be drawn to you.
4. Focus on the mutual benefit.
If you want clients to be loyal to you, be loyal to them. Don’t put your business development efforts ahead of serving the business you already have. The same goes for employees. If you want them to work hard for you, work hard for them. Lead by example.
5. Let go of bad clients.
It’s true, 80% of your time is taken up by 20% of your clients. That’s OK if they’re profitable, but if not, now’s the time to cut your losses. Bottom line, it will give you more time to make more money.
6. Do some hands-on volunteering.
It’s important to support your favorite causes financially, but it’s equally important to roll up your sleeves and actively help. The giving you actually experience is good for your head and good for your heart. And that’s the real foundation for success.
7. Don’t turn into a workaholic.
The goal of successful people is to be productive and efficient, not to work long hours. Working all the time actually makes it easy to be inefficient. Long hours do not represent a good work ethic; efficiency does. Plus to succeed, it’s important to be well-rounded; spend time with family, friends and personal interests.
Make these resolutions and stick with them. They’re great ways to improve yourself and your business.