I won’t bore you with a hidden sales pitch for a webinar or my next book. Instead, I want to offer a bit of advice. My work as a business coach puts me in front of multiple business owners, entrepreneurs and executives daily. And many of them have spent a fortune looking for the Golden App, video, or book that would transform their lives and make their business successful.
I just shake my head. This is one of the reasons that an estimated 93% of all businesses started today will be out of business in five years or less. Rather than learn from other successful people about their foundational success skills, many are out on the quest for the elusive miracle cure.
The legendary personal and professional growth expert Brian Tracy once told me, “You can pray, but when you’re done, move your feet.” So, here’s what I’ve learned. First, there are nine foundational rules to building a business or a successful career.
- HIRE A COACH, FIND A MENTOR: Find someone you can talk to and a trusted advisor who will praise you when appropriate and kick your behind when appropriate.
- CREATE WRITTEN GOALS: It is estimated that 70% of society has no goals. 27% have goals, but they’re not written. And 2% of society has written goals, and that 2% controls most of the money in the world. So you must have clear, written goals to serve as your roadmap.
- PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME: The concept of time management doesn’t exist today. Time management is trying to do everything you think you need to do. Today, we need to learn to master PRIORITY management. That is prioritizing what we think we need to do and then managing our time around getting done only the highest priority, highest consequence tasks. You will double your productivity in 24 hours when you do.
- WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN: You must write a business plan. A detailed business plan is not for someone else to read. It’s for you. When done right, a business plan will force you to ask yourself questions you might never have considered. This process will save you time, money, and frustration and force you to dream about the possibilities. Also, if you seek investors, they will require you to have a business plan, or most won’t even speak with you.
- LEARN TO SELL: Like it or not, you need to sell; heck, you’ll be required to sell if you want to succeed. So, drop the negativity towards selling. Instead, learn to do it and do it well if you ever want to get ahead.
- TRACK EVERYTHING: Establish metrics on everything that you do. You must know what good looks like. This is imperative. I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars wasted because a business person had no idea whether or not his marketing was working. Track everything.
- HAVE A PLAN B, C, and D: Always have a backup plan for all phases of your business and life. If one strategy doesn’t work, don’t freak out; move to Plan B. The difference between those who make it and those who fail is usually based on their preparation of multiple backup plans. Non-entrepreneurially minded people would stop when things go wrong and try to figure out who to blame. When you have a Plan B, you work on what happened, why it happened, and how to avoid it next time, and then continue to charge forward.
- MINDSET ADJUSTMENT: I know, I know, I talk a lot about the importance of mindset. But when you sit where I sit every day, you know that mindset is the key or the killer. You can have a Survivor mindset where you’re just getting by. Or, you can have a Possibility mindset and look for the opportunity and potential in everything.
- NEVER STOP LEARNING: If you stop learning, you’re dead. Never stop learning. The Japanese have a word for it, KAIZEN. This word means continuous and never-ending improvement. Learn how to do things you don’t yet know how. Find the best and most successful people in your industry, learn what they do, and then copy it. This process alone will speed up your rate of success exponentially.
Look, there are simple ways to avoid becoming a statistic. But first, understand that there is no and never has been a magic pill to take that guarantees success. There is, however, a recipe for success, and the ingredients for that recipe have never changed over time. There are more ingredients, of course, but start with these nine. This part of the recipe is your foundation for success.
And we all know that without a solid foundation, your building will collapse.