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…
Do you remember the story (that was actually a fable) of the Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dyke where it was leaking and saved the country of Holland from disaster? If the boy hadn’t put his finger in the dyke the water would have continued to flow. The hole would have continued to get bigger and bigger till the dyke would have collapsed. That one tiny finger on that brave little boy saved everything.
If you follow pro football then you know that in the front line, the linemen are really important as they protect the critical position of the team’s quarterback. The last thing any team wants is to have the quarterback get injured. So if there is a position in the front line that’s not working the team needs to plug the hole to make sure the quarterback is protected.
For business success on a consistent basis, you need to plug the holes!
You need to say to yourself:
- Where are the holes?
- In the overall business?
- In my position of leadership within the company?
- What’s not working?
- What needs to change?
- What, if not given the necessary attention, will only get to be a bigger and bigger issue till it becomes a huge problem to deal with?
- What issues, if addressed now rather than later, can be easily managed and make the company a better place to work at or to buy from?
As the CEO, president, founder or business owner of the company ask additional questions, such as:
- Does the company have the right marketing message?
- Has the company website been updated lately? Is it mobile friendly?
- Does the company have the right employees in the right positions?
- Is customer service the very best it can be?
If you don’t identify and plug the holes any one of these holes – or others- can keep you and the business in a position of failing – which is exactly what you don’t want to do. This requires a lot of objectivity and time to really think things through. Don’t do anything in a hasty manner. You want to be pro-active not reactive.
Every day you work at improving the things that are working. Now you need to work at improving upon the things that aren’t working.
So let’s get things done. If it’s working: great! Let’s make it happen.
If it’s not working, why isn’t it working? What needs done to get it humming along like other things are in the business?
Remember: Every single thing you do during your business day is important to your success and the company’s success. If something isn’t right, and you know it isn’t right, let’s take care of it and make it right.
Every day to maximize business success ask: Where are the holes that need to be plugged?
Keep a list. Not just in your head but write it down so you can easily refer to it and check off the items as the holes get plugged. You’ll have a sense of accomplishment and a better run business.
This blog post also appeared on Linked Into Business.
It’s already well into the second month of 2015.
2015 is flying by fast!
Ask yourself this question: What do you want out of this year?
Yes, from a personal viewpoint. But more importantly, from a business perspective.
No matter what you may list as your answers I am certain you want:
1) Your company to be profitable so you can make more money
2) To be successful at what you do
3) To stand out from everyone else in order to achieve the other two.
Have you ever noticed how most people, including CEOs, presidents and business owners, often just follow the herd?
They do what other people do. If it’s the latest mobile phone, they have to have it. If it’s the latest fashion, they have to have it. If a movie is receiving a lot of buzz, they have to see it. People want to follow what everyone else is doing. Yet to attain your business goals means standing out from the herd.
On your LinkedIn profile, you may follow successful business people that are considered influencers. Some of these people would be considered geniuses at what they do and have achieved such as Richard Branson, Jeff Weiner, Tony Hsieh, Bill Gates, to name a few.
Whether it’s an influencer you follow on LinkedIn or someone in your neighborhood that you know has reached the heights of success, what you’re going to find is that they don’t follow what is referred to as “conventional wisdom”. They don’t follow the herd. They’re business rebels with a vision to make the world a better place. In order to do that, they have to do it their way.
Success means having a positive mental attitude. Right? That’s what we often hear – in order to achieve your goals you have to have a positive mental attitude.
But is a positive mental attitude always what’s best for business success?
Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think and Grow Rich, or anything by Dale Carnegie, for example, have continued to be business resources for decades. What they write about is absolutely correct. You do have to have a positive mental attitude. BUT you also have to have the other side of it.
If you only have a positive mental attitude and you only see everything as just great chances are you’re not going to be as successful as you would like in business. You need to look at the other side of whatever it may be. You need to take the negative and take a more positive approach with it.
When you go to work each morning, take a moment to pause before you reach the door.
- How do I feel about being here today?
- What’s on the agenda today?
- What’s working well?
- What’s not working not so well?
- What do I need to update or change?
- What do I need to pay attention to?
If you’re not paying attention to the negative, as well as the positive, you won’t be as successful as you would like.
Remember: It’s the negative that will jump right up and bite you.
When it does bite, it’s guaranteed to hurt!
Business success is about how you think about your work, your company and what goes on around you every day.
Business is about so many things you need to pay attention to every day – and that’s really the secret, isn’t it? Paying attention to what’s going on; paying attention to what’s not working. Paying attention to what’s going on inside of yourself – because business is about you and the people you interact with or influence.
So you may think you’re superhuman. Put in long hours at work. Dedicate yourself to what you do. But it’s difficult to always be aware of yourself.
It may sound negative but have you slipped up a bit in some way?
How much rest do you get?
What are you eating or drinking throughout the day?
Who do you allow to influence you?
You need to take both parts of the equation, the positive and the negative. Put them together and work towards the best business year ever in whatever you do.
Be unconventional. Don’t always follow the herd.
Do what the great entrepreneurs in business have done: Create your own path and follow it.
May 2015 be the best business year ever for you!
This blog post also appeared on Linked Into Business.
The month of December marks the fourth anniversary of the Talk Business With Howard radio show (broadcast Monday – Friday) on Blog Talk Radio. The radio show has evolved over the years to its present format, The 5 Minute Business Strategy, with business advice, insight and perspective to improve and grow your business for more business success, greater profit and less business stress.
As the final business days of 2014 bring the year to a close, let’s talk about your business, not for 2015, but for what happened in 2014 while there’s still time.
Here are 5 points you, as the CEO, president or business owner, need to do or think about for business success before the start of 2015:
1) Contact your company’s accountant or CPA. The year isn’t over… yet. Take a few minutes and talk about how you can still make this the best financial year possible. For example:
- review business taxes
- review profit and loss statements for the year
- review how you could have been smarter with your business finances
2) In order to be more successful and more profitable in 2015, you need to thoroughly look at the 2014 business year. Look at:
- The past: What needs to change? Learn from your business mistakes. Ask: What could have been done better?
- The present: What is the company doing well? What does the company need to do more of?
- The future: What are your company’s future plans? How are you going to get there?
3) Take the time to pause, honestly reflect and look into the mirror of your business. What do you see?
Where was the…
Where was the…
What situations put your company on top?
What situations didn’t your company handle so well?
Be openly critical of the 2014 business year so you can have a GREAT 2015.
Business isn’t static. Business isn’t a level plane or playing field. Business is always about doing your best and doing more, more, more…
If you don’t take the time to reflect on your business in 2014 then how will you be successful in 2015? You can’t keep doing the same things over and over and over, again and again and again.
Remember: The competition is always breathing down your neck. The best gift you can give the competition is your business – and I am certain that you don’t want to do that.
4) That’s why you need reach out to:
- Your customers at this time of year and let them know how much you appreciate their business. Pick up the phone and call your customers. Ask what more you can do for them.
- Do the same with your employees. Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Ask them for ideas on how to make the work experience and the company better.
- Don’t forget your vendors and other service providers who help make you the success you are. How can you better your relationships with them?
When you honestly and openly reflect on what is the mirror of your business it will show you the good, the bad and the ugly. It will also show you how to close out 2014 and be off to a successful start in 2015. Then let the business momentum build throughout the year.
5) When you walk in the door of your office every morning, ask yourself:
- What’s not right in my business that needs resolved?
- What will it take to make the business better?
- What do I need to do right now?
- How can I help every employee to succeed?
2015 gives you the opportunity to have the best business year ever. But your business success begins today in 2014. Don’t wait a moment longer to attain the success you and your company deserve. It’s waiting for you to make it happen!
For more business advice and tips, take 5 minutes and listen to the entire broadcast that inspired this blog post. The radio show is entitled: Let’s Talk About 2014 And Your Business. Let’s make 2015 the best business year ever! I look forward to talking business with you in 2015!