There are clear distinctions in the minds of those who reach their business goals and those who don’t. If I could summarize what I have learned from the business owners and entrepreneurs I have worked with over the past decade, who have succeeded in their ventures, this is my take-away:
#1. Calm the #%@! Down
Your calm will be your greatest weapon in the battles it takes to establish, maintain, or scale ANY business. Your brain works optimally at a resting state. If you are too tired, upset or stressed, all you’re really doing is expending the energy you can’t afford to waste to be less productive.
#2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
It is not always accurate that you can’t afford hired help, or that you are the only one who can do the job right. In fact, at some point, there will come a time when you won’t be able to afford NOT to delegate. It may true that you will be the only one who cares as deeply as you do about your business, but it won’t be able to grow without you letting go. It is much like parenting. No one loves your child like you do, but you very much need your baby to become an independent adult in order to succeed for the long haul. They need to learn how to function without you bit by bit to survive each next stage of development.
In my own experience thus far, I have actually learned how great delegating can feel and how exciting it is when I can devote my time to the growth of my company. I’ve found that many people will still care very much about my business too and that some will be able to do an even better job than myself because they can solely devote themselves to one aspect, rather than me spreading myself so thin. Also, it has been completely awesome to see how different people contribute in ways my mind would have never even imagined on its own.
#3. You Can’t Afford NOT to Give Yourself Breaks
Breaks allow you to remain your most productive self and can prevent you from quitting or giving up altogether. You don’t need long amounts of time; even 5-minute breaks, a quick stroll outdoors or a snack/bathroom break can be enough to awaken or calm you. You may even need a weekend away. But, whatever you need – take it! It will enable you to keep moving forward for the long haul. Think of it like a cross-country road trip. If you plan to stop to fuel up once in a while, you can make it to your destination; but try to push how far you can go before stopping – you may just run out steam.
#4. Accept That Constant Problems Are the Norm
You must view problems as challenges and trust that every challenge brings you to the next level. They will never go away, only change in nature. Point is, there will always be something to overcome when you are forging new territories. You must find healthy ways to become resistant to stress. Expect it. Define it as normal and keep blazing that trail!
#5. Even if You Think You Already Know Everything – Just Assume That…YOU DON’T
Keep yourself open. Listen first. Surround yourself with others from all areas of expertise, never stop asking questions, and never stop learning. You’ll only become more educated and better at your job for it. Plus, it’s always a good reminder of how little we really know. Keep it humble.
#6. Giving Up is Not an Option. Instead – Learn, Figure it Out, Change, and Adapt
You will have many struggles and failures along the way. The people that succeed are the ones that just keep learning, adapting and trying. Sometimes success looks like one step forward and two steps back. Realize, it is ok. In the big picture, you will still be moving forward and that is all that matters. I honestly haven’t seen it happen any other way.
Angela Caiazza is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and owner of Fulfillment Family Therapy in Portland, OR. She has 15 years of experience working with family systems. Her six-figure independent practice is currently scaling to a group practice. She is also currently developing a national resource through The Practice People for clinicians to connect with incorporating services specific to their private and group practice needs. She enjoys working with her clients, clinicians, and other small business owners in reaching their full potential and impacting her community at large.