For most business owners, every day is a new challenge with new fires to put out and new opportunities to seize. Most of us feel like we’re constantly playing catch up and we’re thankful that everything hasn’t gone off the rails at the end of the day.
By some miracle, there are business owners who have reached the mountaintop and they have plenty of wisdom to share. Let’s look at a few of their tips.
1. Don’t Dwell on Missed Opportunities
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” — Richard Branson
You’re going to make mistakes. You could dwell on them and let the regret fester until it destroys you, or you could learn from it and be ready to jump on the next opportunity.
2. Embrace Risk
“Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying into space.” — Chris Hadfield
If you’re running a business, risk is going to be your daily companion. You can either get used to living with him or let it scare you into doing nothing.
3. Keep Going, No Matter What
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill may not have been a businessman, but he’s one of the greatest leaders the world has seen. His point — when you have successes and when you have failures, acknowledge them and keep moving forward.
4. Less Talking, More Doing
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
There’s a place in business for planning, strategizing and talking, but don’t look at those things as work. The real work is in doing.
5. Don’t Undervalue an Education
“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” — Sydney J. Harris
Some say everything you need to be an entrepreneur you can learn in life. That may be true for a rare few, most business owners can take what they’ve learned in a business degree program and turn it into steady success.
6. Follow Your Passion
“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” — Tony Hsieh
Don’t be driven by the amount of money you make or hope to make. Choose something you’re passionate about, devote yourself to it and the money may follow. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll be okay because you’ll be doing something that makes you fulfilled.
“I failed my way to success.” — Thomas Edison
It might seem counterproductive to a successful career but nearly everyone who’s made it in business — not just Thomas Edison — attributes their success to failure. When you fail, don’t see it as a setback; look at it as a learning opportunity.
8. Be Financially Literate
“The number one problem in today’s generation is the lack of financial literacy.” — Alan Greenspan
This one’s a no-brainer. No business runs well without financial acumen. It might not mean getting a degree in finance but knowing how to direct cash flow, understand the meaning of value and manage expenses can take you far.
9. Listen to Criticism
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates
Instead of dismissing your customers’ criticisms as wrong or crazy, try to step back and see where they’re coming from. Do they have a point? What can you do to make your product, service or customer experience better? Use these criticisms but don’t internalize them.