There are SIX things successful people know and understand. For me they are the secrets to what makes success, nurtures it and builds on it. They are five things all start-up, entrepreneurs and small business owners need to know:
Seizing moments and opportunities
Success is one part timing and one part taking action. Most of us miss opportunities because we procrastinate when it comes to making a decision or taking a risk therefore we fail to seize important moments in life. I say life because success isn’t just limited to what happens in our careers or professional life. In business procrastination could see someone else run off with your idea and in life what say you over complicate the next step in a relationship. For example, boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy, boy doesn’t seize the moment and hold girls hand, girl thinks boy doesn’t like girl and what could have been a beautiful future comes to an abrupt end. Never, ever sit and procrastinate when it comes to making a decision. Seize moments and opportunities because they may never come around again.
Be a realist
Successful people understand what it means when it comes to keeping a situation real. Again, this is where people over complicate what are very simple things and decisions. The truth is not all business ideas are great ideas and, more often than not, they don’t always come off. That’s fine. The people who fail in a major way are those who do not recognise the reality of situations. For example, your idea is to start a café in your local area but there are already six cafes covering a population base of 15,000 (those in the immediate area around you). Of course, not everyone will walk into a café which means the number of potential customers is limited. But, knowing what you know, you still decide to open a café. For months and months it struggles, you’re trying to inject more money into it to keep it afloat. The realist would have thought “not this suburb, let’s look at where there is high potential demand and therefore greater opportunity.” The reason why they decided to open the café in a tightly compacted market was it’s their hometown. Emotional decision making interferes with the reality of situations therefore try and be less emotional and more real.
Innovation is a successful person’s friend
Innovation should always be front of mind for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Those who win always have a focus on how they can continually innovate on their current product or service or someone else’s. This creates a competitive advantage and will always see your business ahead of the eight ball. But, innovation can also be a fickle friend in so far as not every new innovation on a pre-existing idea is a good innovation. Successful people know that if innovation is going to be their friend it must be able to capture a market, get people to buy and create loyalty to your brand. That is exactly what Apple did. It created a tribe of followers and loyal customers off the back of an innovation cycle whereby each new product release generated more income. The combination of innovation and loyalty is key to success.
Knowing your limitations
The problem with unsuccessful people is they believe they are the only ones who either know how to do something or can do everything. Successful people surround themselves with people who fill the gaps in their knowledge and expertise. Apple was a success not only because of Steve Jobs in the early years. Sure Steve was a great ideas guy but he needed Steve Wozniak to build the products for the ideas and be a bounce off person while Mike Makula was the guy who knew how to raise capital to fund the ideas. Steve Jobs tried to be an all-in guy at the beginning but could never convince people to invest. The turning point was when he knew he needed to surround himself with people who knew what he didn’t. Successful people, therefore, know their limitations and limitations are not a weakness they can be your biggest strength
Rate yourself, believe in yourself
Confidence in everything you do, from your product to your business strategy, is fundamental to success. The moment you doubt yourself others will smell that doubt and then doubt you (yes that’s three doubts in one sentence). Also, doubting is a negative whereas risk mitigation is a positive. Always treat your doubts as risks and mitigate against them – this will help maintain belief in yourself and what it is you are trying to achieve. Of course, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confidence is the marker of success whereas arrogance is the short path to failure. Know the difference between the two.
Focus on success; and the money will come
Too often people focus on money first and think that success is built around that as the end game. That’s nonsense. If you focus on making money then money will always be harder to come by. However, successful people focus first on success; success of the launch of the product, success in the implementation of the business plan, success in gaining that first customer or contract. Focus on achieving goals and the money will come as a result.