10 Business Lessons I’ve Learned

10 Business Lessons I've Learned

Whether you’re a new business owner or have been a business owner for decades there are lessons to be learned at each of the 5 stages of business. The key word being learned. While most owners look for ways to be more profitable, profitability is only one part of achieving a healthy business. A healthy business is one that is profitable, sustainable and enjoyable. When focusing only on profits it’s easy to work at a level that is not sustainable or enjoyable. Those closest to you usually try make you aware of it, by letting you know you’re working all of the time. It’s difficult to build a team with a model that is not sustainable or enjoyable even if it is profitable at first.

I’ve learned many lessons over the years that have helped me build a healthy business, by doing the work. The difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one starts with the owner’s mindset.  

Lessons Learned by Doing

  • BE OPTIMISTIC – Is the glass half empty or half full. Having reasonable optimism helps you realize opportunities and attract positive people. This is about how you show up each day. Starting the day with gratitude helps.
  • MAKE DECISIONS​ – Don’t just talk about the problems. Identify them but focus on the solutions and implementing. Take chances by believing in yourself and the people you surround yourself with. Know that everything can be figured out. 
  • YOUR TEAM IS YOUR BIGGEST ASSET – You’re are only as good as the team around you. Hire smart people and allow them to do their job and own their role. If you find yourself telling them what to do, or doing it yourself, you’re not leading. Take care of them.
  • RESPECT EVERY JOB– Look for the dignity and excellence in every role and part of your business. Every person you connect with is important to your business success. Be an example of professionalism each day.
  • ENCOURAGE DISCUSSIONS – Be open to different ideas. Be approachable. Your way is not the only way. People will be open when they feel valued and heard. Appreciate others.
  • WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS MORE THAN IN YOUR BUSINESS – Understand that in the beginning you are doing it all. Don’t use that as an excuse to not look at the big picture. Busy doesn’t mean productive. A business will grow as the owner grows. Develop yourself both personally and professionally.
  • HAVE A VISION AND A MODEL TO MAKE IT HAPPEN​ – What does the end look like? (Vision is the future) Define your success. How will we get there? (Model is the framework you use daily) Take time to plan your future. Don’t allow it to just happen.
  • ADMIT AND LEARN FROM MISTAKES – Admit mistakes then learn from them so you don’t keep making them. Know someone that hasn’t learned their lesson yet.  Don’t allow yourself to be the bottleneck in your business.
  • ASK FOR HELP – Develop this skill because it’s a strength. If you surround yourself with good people you will be inspired to be your best. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of leadership. You’re not supposed to know it all.
  • MAKE TIME FOR BREAKS – Daily moments to clear your head and longer breaks to get away from the day-to-day. Your ideas and creativity will flow. We all have different versions of ourselves. (Parent, Spouse or Partner) Allow yourself time to use your creative imagination.

As a business owner and leadership coach/speaker, I learn something every day from my team, customers/clients, peers and suppliers/vendors. These insights help me to better serve my team, customers/clients and community. The relationships I build, fuel me and my continued passion to serve trade business owners, the trade industries and the good people in it. You can do the same for your business. (Subscribe to receive my weekly ‘In The Driver’s Seat’ emails) where I share business insights, tips and advice.

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