When you start a business, your primary goal is to grow it to become a successful venture. And if you apply proven strategies that guarantee success, you can achieve that goal. You can scale your business into heights of success, even beyond your imagination.

That sounds simple, right? It sure does.

I have been in business long enough to know that it’s not a black or white matter. There are grey areas that most business owners neglect. These are little things that give your business a massive boost.

So, as you go down, you see certain attributes that speed up success. Don’t just go through them, prepare your mind to implement them.

1. Listen More

The temptation of lording it over everyone is what every business owner must try to overcome. Feeling like you always need to make statements makes you talk more than you listen. You just tell your staff or team what you want to be done, anyone’s opinion doesn’t matter. Even when you try to get their opinion, you don’t have plans of making use of them. You cannot run a successful business that way.

Successful business owners don’t feel like a boss, they know they are the boss. However, they value positive contributions from other people that will boost their business. They don’t get threatened when their staff makes great contributions that help the business grow. They always listen to what other people have to say. They understand that their input alone can only take the business a little distance. But when they listen to other people’s opinion, they see a bigger and better picture for business growth.

Listening: Important Skill for Business Growth

Being a good listener makes you focus less on yourself and more on others. Now, this is not to say that you don’t matter. You do. After all, you’re the brain behind the startup. But, focusing more on other people than on yourself is important. This is because serving your clients well demands that you make your products and services about them. And one of the major ways to achieve this is to listen to them. You may have great ideas, but if it doesn’t align with what your customers need, it is baseless.

Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local and author of “The Art of People”, said and I quote:

“Listening is the single most important and underrated skill in business.”

He also said that successful business people listen actively instead of thinking of the next thing to say. They validate other people’s thoughts and emotions after listening to them.

When you are an active listener, you know for sure what people want, especially your customers. There’s no better way to know what your customers need at a particular time than by listening to them. Listening to them reduces the risk of second-guessing them. You pick out every detail of how they want you to serve them. That way, you get products and services across to them that meets their specific need.

Your opinions are great. But you get better results when you get other people’s opinion and blend it with yours.

2. Embrace Failure

Failure isn’t a bad thing. We all fail sometimes. We are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. It shouldn’t be seen as such a bad thing. Rather, you should embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and get better. As a matter of fact, failure is one of the keys to success.

When we were kids, we weren’t scared to dare anything. Most of the things we learned, we had to fail to learn them. To stand, we had to topple over a number of times. We injured ourselves while learning how to use sharp objects. We failed countless times in our bid to learn and succeed at so many things. As kids, we didn’t mind failing. This is because, without failure, we wouldn’t learn how to succeed.

The sad reality is that we grew up to see failure as a negative thing. Yes, failure can be bad. But, for every failure, there’s a propelling force for success. We have grown to avoid failure at all cost and only do stuff that we are sure to succeed in. Well, as good as that might be, it puts a limit to the level of success you can achieve in life and business.

If your business started on the right footing, it’s a good thing. However, the defining moments of your business are not the time everything is nice and dandy. The moments that stand your business out are the times you failed. How you handle your failures is more important than how you handle your successes. Don’t get me wrong, you have to make the most of your successes. But, the lessons you learn when you fail, help you become more successful.

Asking to embrace failure doesn’t mean you should always hope to fail. Far from it. I only want to make you understand that in running a business, you are always faced with two sides of a coin – success or failure. While you hope to succeed, make plans to handle failure. If you must dare the big things, you must be ready to deal with the chances of failure. Never let the fear of failure stop you from attempting big feats.

3. Be Curious Always

Curiosity is one of the less talked about factors that can make you successful. When you ask a lot of successful people the secret to their success, the answers almost revolve around certain things. They list things like hard work, self-belief, persistence, dedication, and all that. Curiosity seldom makes the list. And by the way, they say that curiosity killed the cat. So, we have been unconsciously patterned not to be curious.

About that, being curious in this context has nothing to do with being nosy. This is not about prying into matters that you have no business with. That’s what that proverb means. Curiosity in this context is about imagining possibilities for success and channeling your mind to follow through. Seeing new vistas and working to attain them.

Well, most people who are successful in business today have exhibited curiosity in one way or the other. Curiosity is what drives you to new ventures, new solutions, and new successes. It is what makes you see possibilities. When you are curious about something, your mind is activated to start working out ways to get it. It is that powerful.

When you are curious, there’s no limit to the possibilities you can imagine. Even when you fail, you try to figure out a better way to succeed in that venture. It gives you the drive to keep pushing till you break through in that business venture.

If you’re curious, you can identify viable markets that no one is serving. When you identify the market, you devise ways to dominate that market. You get the Lion share before it gets crowded. It was curiosity that led Motorola to launch the first mobile phone, DynaTAC 8000x. The phone was sold for $ 4,000 at the time. Motorola made a killing with that innovation and dominated the market for a long time.

If you want to attain unprecedented success, curiosity is the trigger you need. It triggers your mind to imagine possibilities. And if you follow through, you will see them becoming a reality.

4. Keep Learning New Things

There’s this misconception that successful business people tend to be arrogant and they believe they know everything. They have kept themselves on a high horse that they don’t need anyone else. Well, that’s not true. And if there are business owners like that, they don’t remain at the top for long.

Don’t Stop Learning

Running a thriving business is no indication that you know everything about the business. There’s always a new thing to learn and add to your business processes. It could be new marketing strategies, emerging markets, or customer service processes. Knowledge is a continuously evolving thing. You should keep an open mind for new and better ways of doing things.

This is what Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said:

“Learning and leadership go together. People give me too much credit for what we have achieved at Virgin. But, the successes happen from working with and learning from some of the world’s most inspiring and inspired people.”

To keep climbing the ladder of success, you need to keep learning. Read books, attend seminars, go to business meetups, etc. Always do what you can to keep yourself abreast of the latest developments in your market.

5. Know When to Say No

One of the things you learn from running a business is that you can’t do everything. Not all opportunities are meant for you. In the same vein, not all customers are yours. You have to know when to say no to things that will not add value to your business.

One of the dilemmas of becoming successful in business is that you keep on aspiring for growth. You want to delve into new territories or swim in blue oceans. That is great if you can handle it. Sometimes, in trying to expand, you can cripple an already standing business. If you look at the opportunity and you aren’t up for it, let it go.

You should also know when to say no to clients that are not a fit for your business, especially if you run a service business. There are clients who are a pain in the butt. You need to avoid such clients. If you keep bringing them in, your business will crash. When you identify clients that you can’t serve, let them go, regardless of how much they want to pay you.

Saying no to certain customers helps you focus on the ones you can serve. Do you know why Harvard has a high reputation? They only accept about 5% of all applicants to the school. Little wonder they produce most of the world’s successful people.

You don’t need all the customers in the world to be successful. All you need is the right customers that understand and appreciate the value of your business. Give the rest a definite no.

6. Always Surround Yourself With a Great Team

Truth be told, you need a team to scale the ladder of success faster. You can’t do everything by yourself and expect to be successful. In the quote by Richard Branson earlier, he attributed the success of Virgin Group to his team. Alone, you might scale to a hundred heights. But with a great team, you scale millions of heights.

Another reason you need a team is because we are all talented and gifted in specific areas. For one, it might be leadership and organization. For another, it might be the ability to convince almost anybody to do something. And yet for another person, it might be the ability to churn out creative ideas. When you blend different talents together, what you have is a team that heads for success.

No business ever attained great success without a team. You need a team of loyal, creative, and skilled people to succeed in business.

Ready to achieve more success?

It’s quite simple. All you need is to know the things that lead to success and apply them. Some of the things I shared may not be new to you. So, the emphasis here is not just to inform you, but to urge you to implement them.

I have listed out some attributes that will help you succeed, even more, in business. Here they are again:

  • Listen more. Other people’s opinion matter, especially your customers’.
  • Embrace failure. It’s an important key to success, if you handle it well.
  • Curiosity will not kill you. It leads you to higher heights of success.
  • Keep learning, you can never know it all.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no to things that won’t contribute to your success.
  • Build a great team, it speeds up your success.

Remember, this might not be new information. But we need you to start implementing them in your business. To help you do that, we have a business strategist on our team waiting to talk with you. You are sure to get all the help you need implementing this in your business.

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