Thank the stars that it is yet another year and we made it!
Every New Year to most people is a time to reevaluate their goals, relationships and anything of relevance in their lives.
Such ‘ritual’ should be imbibed into a person’s business life as well.
As an entrepreneur, every action you take or don’t has an implication on your business whether on the long run or instantaneously and business successes are built upon approaches. The bits of behavior we exhibit called habits are what steer our businesses towards either the tranquil sea of success or turbulent waters.
Habits are tricky. You are able to tell that you have a few negative habits because you see the direct implications that they cause you. But alas, some habits are seemingly soft-core and blend impressively as a chameleon behind normal daily behavior and activities and you never see them for what they really are; ticking time bombs.
Such habits could yet prove even more dangerous as they tend to destroy their prey inside out.
If you really take a minute to slow down and stare hard, you will find that they aren’t that far away after all; they are what you do every day and always.
No matter how good your business may be right now, the truth remains that they would only get better when you thrash out these habits, and what better time to do a bit of ‘spring cleaning’ than during the New Year?
I have outlined some habits below that we might have become accustomed to doing and we direly need to dispose of:
In 2005, Blackberry Ltd came up with a proprietary internet-based instant messenger and just as the company’s primary product (the phone itself), it was a must have for everyone who followed trend because there was nothing else like it. Blackberry had millions of customers which mean good money but what they failed to realize was that the world has billions more customers to offer and so they focused on the millions they had and lost out on the billions. They protected the fronts they owned rather than go for new ones.
And so when Android (and WhatsApp) came conquering new grounds, Blackberry sat back and watched gold mined right before their very eyes.
By February 2014 WhatsApp had over 450 million users as against Blackberry messenger’s 85 million.
That is what complacency does to a business. It tells you with that quiet little voice to sit back and guard what you already own and not go for more.
Contentedness should definitely not be preached in business but rather be classified as a business vice.
Whenever you feel the rush of happiness after a successful milestone in your business, savor it. If you hear that voice that says to you that you have made it and that you deserve a long break, that’s complacency talking (especially when you are under 50).
You make a breakthrough and no one has ever done something like it before, cherish the feeling of accomplishment for a moment and then keep improving on it because there’s someone lurking in the shadows trying to recreate what you have done and make it even better.
Every day in a man’s life (business) is a race, if you so much as slow down, someone might just zoom past you and become difficult to catch. Always remember that there’s never a time where you can’t do better.
If you did this in 2016 and got away with it, well congratulations but you might not be so lucky in 2017.
At a time where new and more complicated methods and ideas are demanded in businesses, wanting to do it all alone (or most of it) might just be the quickest and surest way to yet another failed business.
Now is the time to jettison the saying that “if you have got to do something well, you have to do it yourself”. Have you heard of a man who was the greatest scientist and also the greatest accountant?
You must trust your judgment of character and ability more rather than your ability to do it all by yourself.
Jeffery Pfeffer of Stanford University says that “your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world does not go the hell if you take a day off”. So aside from underutilizing the likely geniuses you hired, not delegating might cause your business to bleed if you ever become indisposed.
When your workload becomes equal to that of 3 of your top staffs’, when you always fear that your PR team might not do a good job to sell the new product, when you are your own accountant, when you can’t seem to get a break and your team members have ample time for leisure during working hours, then you have a problem with delegation, fix it.
NOT PLANNING AHEAD
It is always very unfortunate when you do not know what to do next.
Being proactive rather than reactive might be the best thing you can do for your business in this New Year.
If you take a hard look at journeys of rock star entrepreneurs on the road to their successes, you would discover that amongst the several things they have in common, planning ahead is obviously one of them.
To these successful businessmen it goes beyond just taking a step ahead; they have given ‘ahead’ a whole new meaning.
Take a look at successful authors who end up producing bank breaking series, they plan ahead for the third book in the series even while still on the first and so when the first book makes that big break, they are never caught unaware.
Originally published at medium.com