5 Must Do’s Of Successful Entrepreneurs

 

  1. Take Purposeful Action
  2. Embrace Your Mistakes
  3. Networking
  4. Resist the Negativity of Nay-Sayers
  5. Give Without Expecting Anything in Return

 

Easy right?

So if the above actions lead to success why isn’t everyone doing them? Why do so manysettinggoals entrepreneurs struggle to succeed? Let’s look at them closer.

 

Take Purposeful Action

When you’re a busy entrepreneur with multiple visions dancing through your mind, it can be difficult to choose which one to act on. Staying true to your core vision and purpose should be your filter for prioritizing ideas for action. However finding the space and clarity to think this through is the tough part, it’s important to have someone you trust to bounce ideas off of. Regular meetings with someone who’s able to help you clear the brain clutter is crucial to determining which of your biggest ideas should be acted on and when.

 

Embrace Your Mistakes

Well no problem right? Ha! Seeing as how most entrepreneurs have perfectionism as part of their DNA even the word mistakes makes one cringe. The reason perfectionism slows us down is that even though we know learning from our mistakes is important we rarely have the time, space and clarity of mind to sort through the mistake for the all-important lessons.

Having a group of trusted advisors who will dissect mistakes with you will give you much needed perspective in much less time, saving you from further mistakes and wasted time (money).

 

Networking

I know ahhhhhhhhhh, right? Just the thought can make an entrepreneur say “No way.” while rolling their eyes. I understand, being myself a non-lover of networking it took me a while to integrate this onto my “important actions” list. Let’s try to remember that this is where we will meet the trusted advisors who will provide us with clarity and short cuts through all of our great ideas and time sucking mistakes. The right advisors can save our sanity as well as our money, so maybe this should be number one on this list.

 

Resist the Negativity of Nay-Sayers

Easier said than done when some of the nay-sayers are your friends and family; you know, the ones trying to save you from yourself. Believe me I slogged my way through my share of “this will never work’s” and “wouldn’t there be a better time to do this?” To be fair, I was nine months pregnant when I started my business, but still…Don’t underestimate the value of other entrepreneurs, they get it, and it’s nice to have someone in your corner through the tough stuff.

 

Give Without Expecting Anything in Return

There are many ways you can help other business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Sharing your experience, knowledge and resources builds trust and expands your network of trusted advisors. Remember, “Life is an echo, what you send out comes back to you.”

How does a busy entrepreneur find the time to put these 5 Must Do’s to work?

YOU MAKE TIME. Think through the people in your life and come up with a list of those with experience whose opinions you value. If you find you have a shortage of trusted advisors who can help you hold yourself accountable to the above actions then get puzzle_piecesnetworking. Seek people with experience in areas you’re not strong in and ask them to coffee. Create an advisory board and schedule quarterly meetings. Join an entrepreneurs peer group, most meet monthly and provide a variety of business experience and support. Find someone who’s able to help you clear the brain clutter and prioritize all your “Must Do’s” then make the time to meet with them weekly. Will you take the necessary actions to make your business a success?

 

How can I help?

 

Suzanne Lyon

612.801.9320

Suzanne@lyon-sfocus.com

 

 

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The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get

In this age of abundance, time is the one thing nobody has enough of. Perhaps that’s why Google receives 111 million searches a month for Time Management. Few people recognize how time management depends upon the emotional intelligence skills of self-management and relationship management.White_Rabbit_nobackground

Creating a good schedule is a very rational thing, but sticking to that schedule is decidedly emotional. Many of us start out every day with the best intentions to manage our time wisely. But then we receive a complicated email from a co-worker, a consuming phone call from a friend, or otherwise get sidetracked until our well-laid plans go up in flames. We spend the rest of the day trying to put out somebody else’s fire, or working to resolve issues that weren’t there in the morning. Before you know it, the day is gone and you’re completely off schedule.

When the distractions are your own, sticking to a schedule requires self-management. When the needs of others try to impede upon your plans, it takes effective relationship management to finesse the relationship while ensuring that your priorities are still addressed.

This of course assumes you are clear about what your priorities are. Many Entrepreneurs find themselves feeling like Alice in Wonderland, chasing white rabbits and more than a little lost. Running a business is filled with daily distractions, urgent but not important things to do are around every corner or at the end of the email trail in your in box.

Before Emotional Intelligence can help you manage your distractions you will need to create a strong road map of the priorities and milestones that will lead you to your intended goals. Invest some time clarifying your goals and identifying the important milestones that will help you achieve them. Like Alice you will come across many white rabbits along the way but you will find it much easier to get back on track with your priorities identified and a clear plan for action.

To learn more about emotional Intelligence get the book.

To learn more about ensuring your priorities are addressed and your goals consistently achieved make your next priority a conversation with me.

Suzanne helps business owners develop the foundations that turn their visions into reality, contact her today

Suzanne Lyon
Suzanne@lyon-sfocus.com
612.801.9320
EQ 2.0

Visionaries, Integrators and Investors Oh My!

 

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The release of the latest EOS book, Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, has created quite a buzz in entrepreneurial circles. Thought provoking conversations, blogs and articles regarding Visionaries and Integrators are happening all around me.

Having co-founded a business as an Integrator with my Visionary husband, I experienced firsthand the challenges and rewards of a strong V/I relationship for 18 years while we grew our business. In 2007, when Traction by Gino Wickman was released, we had been instinctively dividing and executing for 15 years. Traction was very affirming for us then and when reading Rocket Fuel last week my inner Integrator jumped up and shouted “YES!” with an enthusiastic fist pump (It just feels good to read something that self-affirming in a book that’s hitting #1 on Amazon!).

All this focus on Visionaries and Integrators led me to read an article published in Forbes this week, 5 Shortcomings Of A Visionary And How To Compensate that highlighted the shortcomings of visionaries from an investor’s perspective. The message that stood out in the article caused me to cringe a little on behalf of all the visionaries I know and love. As one visionary most eloquently put it,

“See that Forbes article today. I’ll paraphrase; I don’t want to invest in a loser visionary unless he is teamed with an integrator. Wow that’s straight.”

More than a few trips down memory lane have been inspired by all this. As I think back, none to fondly, of my Visionary and I’s experiences with investors during the 18 years we poured our “blood, sweat and tears” (cheesy quote but I assure you quite literal) into our business, it is difficult to back away from the inclination to write this article; 5 Shortcomings Of An Investor And How To Compensate. But I will, grudgingly, back away; maybe I’ve matured, maybe it’s my Fathers voice in my head or maybe I’m just saving it for another time. For now I’d like to focus on this; Visionaries, Integrators and Investors, where would any of us be without each other?

Without the Visionary’s “unusual energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks” there would be huge gaping holes in place of Apple, Starbucks and Disney.  It’s true that “every organization [also] needs a steady counter-force that is focused on directional clarity”, (another fist pump for all the Integrators out there!). It is also true that many visions succumb to a harsh reality when under-capitalized because “blood, sweat and tears” aren’t enough to turn great visions into great companies. It requires a trifecta of new ideas, execution and capital to make a success out of any startup.

I too am a proponent of capitalizing on your strengths, which requires recognizing them, as well as your weaknesses, so that you can value the strengths others bring to the table. To quote one of our key advisors “Each of you on your own is great at what you do, but together you are unstoppable!”

Visionaries need Integrators and capital to complete their vision, Integrators need a well-funded vision to execute on and Investors need startups created so there is a business plan to execute. Some molds must be broken in order to provide a return on investment that out performs an IRA.

If your strength is being an Investor, use that capital to attract a complementary Visionary and Integrator team that can create the vision and make it happen; then get out of the way and let them create a win-win-win opportunity for all of you. No new start up can succeed without a dose of unrealistic optimism.

Investment without vision is just a tax write off in the making.

When is it Time to Hire a Consultant?

Are You on Track to Meet Your Quarterly & Annual Goals?

goals2I’m not just referring to your sales goals (although those are critical), I also mean goals of the mission and vision of your company, employee satisfaction and engagement, awareness, and everything else that indicates a strong and successful business. If you’re not quite on target, it’s time to make a change. Bringing in an outside consultant may be the breath of fresh air (and new set of eyes) your business needs to have a strong year of target hitting and growth. Even the largest, most successful companies turn to consultants; maybe it’s time you consider it too!

Here are seven signs it’s time to hire a consultant:

1. You feel stuck or stagnant.
Simply put: If you feel like your business is in a rut, it probably is. If you’re not growing, you’re dying, and now’s the time to take matters into your own hands. Hiring a consultant can help address these concerns and get you back on track for growth.

2. You need help identifying problems, issues, or areas for improvement.
It’s a hard truth that people “on the inside” often don’t see things as clearly as those “on the outside”. Sometimes executives and business leaders may be blind to areas within their organizations that aren’t functioning optimally, or opportunities to enhance their business both externally and internally. Consultants bring the fresh, objective perspective that can open up new ideas and avenues that weren’t identified previously, and enhance a business.

3. You’re unsure of which direction to go.
Even if you have identified areas for growth, it may be tricky to decide on how to move forward. Consultants can help strategize as well as implement new plans, programs, and procedures to move forward and help your business grow.

4. You want someone to supplement your staff, but don’t want to hire a full time employee.
Let’s face it- hiring a full time employee is expensive. Consultants are an efficient way to get temporary expertise and support when you need it most. By hiring a consultant, you will get a relatively low cost, low commitment solution to a project or problem you’re facing.

5. You want insight into your market.
Many business leaders think they know their customer, but their knowledge is often biased and subjective. It’s tough to remove your “business” cap when trying to understand your customers. Consultants don’t have the same biases, and are able to conduct the research necessary to provide honest insight and feedback that will help you relate to your customers and better serve them.

6. You want freshness and creativity.
Every company does things differently and has their own creative process for operations, marketing, production, etc. Because they have been around other businesses and been exposed to innovation among different industries, consultants will bring new ideas and creativity to your business that you may not have had access to previously. In an ever-changing world, innovation is critical to stay afloat.

7. You want to bring new life to your organization.
Companies get stale, but consultants can bring a freshness and excitement that may have been lacking. Mixing it up and engaging new professionals with your team can liven up the work environment, spark new ideas, and create a critical collaborative environment.

If you find yourself identifying with any of these seven signs, do your business a favor and consider bringing on a consultant to help. Amazing results come from collaboration, and recognizing the need for improvement is the first step in achieving your goals.

 

Originally  posted by;

Breanna Bremer

Accountability at the top

Wow! I attended a workshop on Marketing and Sales last week, very powerful. You might ask, what does accountability have to do with marketing and sales ? Well, everything!

As business owners & leaders it is up to us to make sure we have a marketing and sales strategy and to make sure it is being followed. During the workshop I was struck by how many companies either have not created a marketing and sales plan or are only loosely following one.

As John Lankford, our presenter said, “doing what you have been doing is what got you where you are today”. And since we were all sitting in a workshop on marketing and sales, it goes without saying we were not satisfied with where we were today.

Clearly most business owners and leaders want their companies to be successful, have too much on their plates, and can’t do everything all at once or do it all well. If we are to achieve the visions we have for our companies marketing and sales must play a major role and therefore requires major intentional focus.

In business all results start and end with the leaders. When it comes to Marketing and sales do you have a plan? Do you give it high level attention and follow through? Who are you accountable to for the results of this plan? As a business owner and leader the answer to that last question is most likely yourself, so my next question is how good of a job are you doing at holding yourself accountable?

If you’re not satisfied with where your company is at today then maybe it is time to raise your accountability to a new level. Consider working with an accountability partner to help you hold yourself accountable.

I help people focus their thinking on the big things instead of the little things, so they can reach their goals quicker and cleaner.

Contact me if you’re ready to raise your accountability level.

suzanne@lyon-sfocus.com