A Message From Howard
CEOs, Presidents and Business Owners:
Your business success is determined every single day. Business success doesn’t take place because of a good or even a bad marketplace. It takes place because of you. You’re the one that has worked through the difficulties and slogged through the challenges of your business. But one day something happens in your business that…
As you look over the horizon to the year ahead is more success in your business future?
Let’s talk about achieving success beyond what you may think is possible.
Here’s 4 examples to inspire your business success:
1) Roger Bannister: Have you ever heard of a guy named Roger Bannister? Most people haven’t because it seems that events happen but they get lost in history as time goes on. Roger Bannister was a track and field person who ran the mile. Back then people would say: You can’t run a mile in 4 minutes, it’s impossible. It just can’t happen. The human body, the way it’s constructed, you can’t run a 4-minute mile. Then one day Roger Bannister ran a mile in a little under 4 minutes. It was revolutionary; nobody thought it could ever happen. Today it’s commonplace. In modern day track and field events, if the athletes can’t run a mile under 4 minutes they’re likely to not win the event.
2) Chuck Yeager: Then there’s another guy named Chuck Yeager. Chuck Yeager was a pilot in the Air Force, a Korean War hero. One of the things that made Chuck an Ace, which means he shot down so many enemy planes in the Korean War, was his vision – he had more than 20/20 vision. So he could, in the days before the military had the modern day radar technology, see things many miles away – including his opponent further out than anybody else. That gave him the advantage. When Chuck Yeager was chosen to be a test pilot, do you know what they said? They said – yes, the magic “they” said: It’s impossible to break the sound barrier, it can’t happen. The plane will fall apart. It’s just something that you can’t do. But guess what? Chuck Yeager one day broke the sound barrier. Since then they have built planes that go four times the speed of sound. There’s an Air Force military plane that’s not in service anymore called the Blackbird which was an amazing plane as it could go about 4,000 mph, give or take a few, because somebody believed it could be done.
3) President John F. Kennedy: Then there was President John F. Kennedy. Who knows what his legacy would have been if he would have continued to serve out his term and didn’t have the tragedy that happened to him. In a speech that President Kennedy made, he famously said: In this decade we will go to the moon. Yet there was no technology to go to the moon. Many thought it wasn’t possible to land on the moon. But President Kennedy inspired everyone to put their mind to it – and to believe the United States was going to indeed achieve not just going to the moon, but landing on the moon one day. Because of the vision the President had, it happened. President John Kennedy believed the United States could achieve great things – including in the space program. He got an entire nation on his team to believe. Why? Because he conveyed confidence. He said: We can do this. Nobody’s ever done it before but we can do it. And as you already know, the rest is history.
4) Richard Branson: How about Richard Branson? I’m sure you’ve heard his name. Richard Branson is an entrepreneur and a billionaire. He owned a company called Virgin Records, which made him a lot of money but also impacted the music industry. As the story goes, one day he said: I think I’m going to go into the airline business. His advisors told him he was absolutely crazy. You don’t go into the airline business! Only a fool goes into the airline business, why would you risk your money? He said: No, no, no, no – I’m not listening to any of you. Your advice isn’t good advice. I’m going into the airline business. So what did Richard Branson do? He actually picked up the phone, called Boeing and asked: Do you have a 747 I can lease? And that’s how it happened. That’s how Virgin Airlines got started, one of the most successful airlines on the planet, because Richard Branson believed in his business vision.
What happens when you believe in your vision for success? You get things done.
To be more successful in the year ahead, tune out the negativity you encounter daily. Turn a negative situation or thought into a positive situation or thought. You too can be a Roger Bannister, a Chuck Yeager, a President Kennedy, a Richard Branson with your own personal talents and business skills. Be the leader that is just waiting to emerge from inside you.
- Be on your business game every day.
- Be convincing.
- Be dynamic.
- Be inspiring!
- Have the will, drive, and determination to make, whatever it is you want, happen.
- Never, ever, give up!
Then you know what will happen a year from now? You’ll look back and say to yourself: Oh yeah… I really did it!
Then ask yourself: What’s next?
So get out there and be in action! There’s no time to waste when it comes to true business success – and you living the life you truly want.
I want to hear about your success – and any questions you may have on how to achieve more success with your business. Post a comment or call me direct at 888-738-1855.
This blog post was also published on LinkedIntoBusiness.
When looking for ways to improve business, so often what’s looked at, for example, includes the latest sales statistics, or how to more efficiently manage the operations of the company or cut costs, or stepping up the marketing efforts. There are many other ways to improve business that we could list here depending upon the nature of your business and its current situation. One of the most often overlooked aspects of how you can, on a daily basis, improve your business is by eliminating 3 words from your business vocabulary. The result: More business success.
The 3 words are:
Here’s why you need to eliminate these 3 words from your business vocabulary:
- To increase sales
- To promote a more positive work environment; which will, in turn, promote more productivity
- To increase your business confidence and leadership skills
- To increase the confidence your prospects, customers, employees and vendors have in working with you.
Let’s look at each of these words.
1) Try: In the words of Yoda from the classic movie, Star Wars: Do or do not. There is no try. Yet a familiar phrase often heard in business is: Well, I tried to… (fill in the blank) but… When you say “try” you set yourself up for failure. What’s the one thing every CEO, president, founder or business owner is afraid of? Failure. Business success begins in your mind. Why begin to fail when you’re just getting started all because you or other co-workers say something like: I’ll try to …
Other word options to consider when eliminating “try” from your business vocabulary include:
Or even: Let’s do it!
Always state your intention clearly like you mean it and you’ll accomplish more in your day, with others you work with and with your overall business goals. Just by making a small change (which is actually a really big change) like this can make all the difference. So remember, don’t “try”. Do.
2) Could: The word, “could”, is similar to “try”. A phrase often heard in business is: If I only could have… Every time, you or other business associates say this it’s like living in the past. It’s not living in the now; in the present moment or circumstance. It doesn’t help you or anyone else bring clarity or vision to the next step in the pathway to success. It just traps you in the past. It just fills your mind with regrets rather than positive thoughts in order to move forward.
Another way the word, “could”, is often used is by saying something like this: Well, I could… This has a very tentative sound and meaning to it as though you are still working through the thought process and talking aloud. The problem is it’s telling your subconscious that nothing is definite. As business leaders we need to be confident of what we think and express it accordingly.
3) Should: The word, “should”, almost sounds like something a parent would say. For example: You should have cleaned your room now you can’t go to the party Friday night. Or: You should have done your homework then your grades would be better. Or: You should be like your older brother or sister… In business, you’ll often hear business people say: I should have done (fill in the blank)…
The word, “should”, just attaches a lot of guilt. It doesn’t really inspire to move forward. It’s a word that not only potentially creates a lot of guilt, but perhaps even a degree of shame. In business, you want to inspire yourself on a daily basis as well as those around you to do better, act intelligently and not burdened with guilt in yours or anyone’s business actions.
There are other words you can add to this list to eliminate from your business vocabulary, such as: “would”, “ought to”, “might” or even the word, “must”. All these words are similar enough and can be used interchangeably depending on the business situation. You’ll find when a business person uses these words they are often complaining how the success they want to achieve hasn’t been reached.
In business, there are no excuses.
The words we use every day in business need to inspire, motivate and help everyone become more successful. Think through what you’re saying before you say it because words have meaning and impact not only on yourself but on everyone you work with.
There has been a lot of talk lately in the news about bullying. By using the wrong words, when talking to others, without realizing it, you can be using a form of bullying. Let’s inspire rather than create situations with our words that change the positive potential of the situation.
Every day we have the opportunity to do our best and to bring out the best in others we work with. It all begins with being selective of our words and how we use them to create positive business situations which lead to more business success.
Note: This blog post was also published on Nimble.
The New Year always brings about some degree of self-examination and resolution. But while many of us are busy looking for ways to improve ourselves personally, all too few are making the same effort to determine how to improve their business’ profitability and success in the coming year.
Specifically, CEOs, presidents, founders and business owners, should be examining the business just as much as the role they perform within the company. Smart business leaders understand that those who do not keep up with change will surely lose out to the competition and will view this time as a valuable opportunity to review each and every aspect of the business to ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible.
Instead of an all-too-predictable ‘Ol’ Lang Syne’ filled with promises, promises, promises, this is a time to ask yourself some very hard, revealing questions about where you and your business are going. If you don’t ask the hard questions now to pinpoint how to improve your business, then when will you invest the time needed to ensure the company continues to grow?
A good place to start the review is at the very heart of your role with the business. Specifically, ask yourself: Do I really want to be more successful this year?
The answer is most likely: Yes.
After all, that’s most likely one of the reasons you got into business for yourself anyway — to show the world that you can make it on your own, you can do it your way.
But has the business brought you the success and personal lifestyle that you want and deserve?
In many cases, CEOs, presidents, founders and business owners want something more out of the business they started. More money. More recognition. More freedom. More creativity. More control over one’s destiny. If this sounds like you, and you want to get something more from your business you’ve got to invest more personally into your company and industry.
Let’s look at the following 9 business strategies to ring in 2014 profits:
1) Be open. Never think that you have heard it all or seen it all. You haven’t. For example, there is always another great profit making idea just around the corner. However, you must thoroughly understand your business and your people if you are to recognize the opportunity when it arrives. The best ideas quite possibly might come from your employees and customers. But if you’re not in touch with them you will miss out on the opportunity for sure.
2) Be open to change. Never think that there is only one way. Business is more than just a one- or even a two- way street. It is a busy intersection heading down the busy road of success. If you don’t stay aware then you will miss your turn when the opportunity comes. The company down the street that you compete with may be very open to change. If you are not open to being progressive then you are giving your business away to the guy down the street.
3) Listen to your customers. Customers are the heartbeat of your business. Without them, there isn’t any business. Some of the best ideas for new products, services and innovation come directly from your customers. Get yourself and your people in the habit of asking questions and getting feedback from your customers, both new and established. Your customers will appreciate that their opinion counts. If you do implement a customer’s suggestion, be sure to let them know. It will help demonstrate just how valuable they are to you.
4) Listen to your employees. All too many executives overlook their employees, which can be an extremely costly mistake. You must listen to every single employee in your company; especially those in front line positions, like receptionists, or those on the janitorial staff. Your employees are the eyes and ears of your company. Employees have their ears to the ground and know what is going on. As with customers, some of the best ideas can be generated from your employees, and you should be sure to recognize and encourage them for their contribution. It will only make for a stronger, better, more productive and ultimately, stable company. Be sure to continuously communicate to employees a message of corporate stability as well as underscoring the company role as a secure work environment where employees can enjoy their work and career.
5) Review your performance with an objective person. Employees receive yearly reviews, but who reviews you? If you do not already have a business advisor, business mentor or business coach, then get one that can bring the necessary experience and objectivity required. It is worth the investment. Certainly you can talk to peers but can they really speak candidly and objectively as they pinpoint weaknesses, flesh out ideas and recommend alternative strategies? Rather doubtful. Hiring a business advisor, business mentor or business coach that you personally and consistently work with means you get the very best advice possible to help ensure your company flourishes. The truth is you must review yourself constantly with a checklist of criteria. You must be ready to look at yourself and be open to changing what must be changed no matter how difficult, a task that is extremely difficult without impartial advice. A good business advisor, business mentor or business coach will help you to perform daily reality checks on yourself and your business as well.
6) Recommit yourself to the business. You started your business with a dream, but eventually reality and life got in the way. You must be committed to constantly putting yourself back on track. You are your business, and your business is a reflection of you. Your employees and your customers look to you for inspiration and leadership. Be sure to inspire them and increase their confidence each and every day.
7) Look in the mirror with high expectations. How can you be critical and have high expectations of others unless you expect the same of yourself? It is up to you to set the example, to be the example. Set high expectations for yourself and be sure to live up to them.
8) Evaluate the company from top to bottom, division to division. Review each aspect of the business and don’t leave anything unturned. Take the time to look particularly at sales and marketing. Make sure your sales department understands exactly what is expected of it and has a detailed plan for generating leads and closing sales. Look carefully at which products or services are outdated. Take time to study the competition. What are they doing better than you and what are their weaknesses that you can capitalize on?
9) It’s the little things that count. Thank someone for a job well done. Send a note of thanks to a new customer. Then send one to a long established customer. Acknowledge birthdays and new babies. Take note of the new paint on the wall or the new office equipment. Sit in on a meeting or training session that you are not expected at to show your interest and support. Make customers, employees, vendors, as well as yourself, feel good about your company.
Sure, coasting along year after year, might be enough to just get by. But why not take the time to plan your business strategies that will achieve the level of success you’ve worked so hard to attain and so richly deserve?
Don’t wait any longer – act today!
As I always say: Be in action! Make it happen!
Get more organized, and set the time and place to really begin working on making the necessary changes, determining the business strategies and establishing the road map that will guide you to your business success.
As you ring in the record profits over the next 12 months of 2014 you’ll be so glad you did.
Throughout the year, I invite you to share your business success with me. If you have a business question about problems or challenges you’re having in reaching business goals with your company, you’re welcome to contact me. If you’d like a particular business topic discussed on the radio show, let me know. There isn’t anything I like better than to see business people succeed. Let’s make it happen in 2014!