Do you ever look at another business owner and think "Wow, they're really good at what they do!" Some people just have that effortless way about them that make running a business look easy. More likely than not, it took a lot of discipline, hard work and knowing when to ask for help to get to the point where they're making it look easy. The good news is that you can also be that business owner, it just takes some effort on your part.
I'm no expert, but as a business owner myself, I think the following things are a great start to being a successful entrepreneur.
A Successful Entrepreneur...
1. Loves What They Do
You know the saying "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life"-- it sounds cheesy but it's so true and I think the most important part of owning a business. If you don't genuinely enjoy what you're doing, you'll end up stressed, frustrated, and questioning your decisions. Sometimes we have to take a step back and re-evaluate what we're doing. That might mean pivoting in a different direction than what you originally set out to do, scaling back your business if it's gotten to the point where you're overcommitted, or figuring out what you need to add to bring back the enthusiasm you once had.
2. Sets and Maintains Boundaries
Sometimes the problems in #1 arise because we fail with #2. Know your boundaries and stick to them. It's ok to say no to a client if they don't feel like the right fit or to not take a job that's too far away to drive. As a business owner, you're in control of who you work with, when you work, and the kind of work you do. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself to do something that's outside those boundaries.
3. Is Intrinsically Motivated
Entrepreneurs who are intrinsically motivated are doing something for the satisfaction it brings them rather than the external reward. You can act independently knowing that your efforts are making a difference, take satisfaction that you're honing your skills while also seeing the opportunity to learn more everyday.
4. Uses Reliable Systems
Having reliable systems in place are key to running a successful business. This could be the planner that you handwrite everything in, color coding your Google calendar, or a software that you use for communication and task management with your team. It might take some trial and error to find what works for you, but getting to a point where the systems you use help run the business smoothly mean you'll have more time to enjoy what you're doing.
5. Plays to their Strengths
Think about why you started your business...was it to be a bookkeeper, social media marketer, web designer? When you started your business, you did so because there's something that you're good at and you enjoy it. If you're taking on any of the above roles on top of business owner, you're losing out on valuable time that could be spent focusing on building your business. A lot of business owners will resist outsourcing because they want to save money or insert mundane task here doesn't seem so hard. Taking this approach often leads to messy bookkeeping or a website that doesn't quite work the way it should and these things usually cost more to fix than if you had outsourced the work from the beginning.
6. Knows and Understand Their Business Financials
Can you confidently talk about your gross profit or what your cash flow situation is? Owning a business is about numbers, and your numbers are telling a story. If you want to be in business for the long haul, you need to understand that story. Can you confidently say what your expenses are, what products or services are making you the most money, or how many sales you need to bring in for profit? Being able to answer these questions means you can set achievable goals and scale your business.
Hopefully some of these resonated with you and if you haven't already embraced them, today's a great day to start! Before you know it, someone will be looking at you and thinking ""Wow, they're really good at what they do and they make it look so easy!"