Secrets? I don’t think so! But you have to ask questions to get answers!
I’ve run a successful life coaching business for over ten years, but that didn’t mean I was born with special knowledge that others didn’t possess. Going out on your own to run your own company takes an attitude of determination, persistence, passion, and patience. But more important than any of these qualities that’s helped me stay above water and build my business, is humility. That fervent spirit of independence that motivated you to venture forth can also be your demise if you’re too proud (and too egotistical) to ask for questions and help. Communication means everything to becoming a success.
In fact, communication is the cornerstone of what my global life coaching practice teaches, and it’s what myself and my employees live by to continue to grow both financially and in brand awareness. I’ve listed a broad spectrum of suggestions that will hopefully answer some questions you may or may not have asked yourself. They’ve certainly helped me, and I hope they’ll help you, too.
“How can technology assist me?” Technologies are the wheels of our success: Modern technology, which for me means that which is based on the speed and accessibility of the internet, has allowed me to communicate with my staff and audience in some of the most remote locations in the world, while still allowing me to do the cultural research that is indelible to my work, while allowing me to present my findings to my international audience in real-time. Applications like Skype, Hootsuite, WhatsApp, Google Hangout, MailChimp, and Viber are just a few of the tools I use on a daily basis to stay in constant contact with my core audience— the ambassadors who drive my sales, and public persona to higher levels every year.
“I’m just one person! I can’t do everything by myself!” Always have a right-hand man or woman: Nothing takes the place of an assistant or intern who knows you better than you know yourself— someone who can anticipate your needs and responses before they come out of your mouth. They need to know how you sound and what you believe, so they can communicate for you when the need arises, and do it so well that you trust their ability implicitly. I don’t have time to read every email that comes my way, nor do I have the time to respond, but I want my clients to feel their receiving my personal attention. My assistant is the extra appendage I need to speak for me in my stead.
“Who can I ask for help?” Always have a trusted advisor: Business opportunities and business dangers are like prisms— you’ll never be able to see every angle— so it’s vital to have a comrade or confidant who can help you look at circumstances that arise from a different perspective and communicate it in a way that I understand and respect. My advisor knows my business well enough to offer me advice, and is successful in their own right, so I know that they have the authority to offer me counsel that’s sound. They also offer a much-needed shoulder to lean on, when no one else seems to understand the immense pressure I’m under, offering a welcome empathy that only top executives understand.
Should I learn other business models?” Always be humble knowing that just because you’re successful, it doesn’t mean that you know everything. In fact, you may know your own bubble of business, but that doesn’t mean the rules you play by are followed in other companies you do business with, even if it’s in your own industry. Learn as much as you can about how other companies make their businesses work. Take classes. Learn languages, even if it’s just the basics. Ask questions— lots of them. In this way you become a student, always curious, always learning, always improving. Not only will you learn new ways to improve your business from other people and organizations, you’ll also illustrate your respect of them and for them, creating more accessible lines of communication in which to facilitate successful business transactions.
“You know your company, but do you know yourself?” Have you communicated with yourself?: The reality is that if you don’t listen to your own inner voice, your own Authentic Soul, your business will suffer. Do you actually like what you do? Does it satisfy you in a deep way? Or are you just doing it for the money or prestige? If it’s the latter, you may be in trouble, and your business (and all the employees that rely on you) could be destined to fail. Why? Long lasting success in business comes from enjoying your work because it will propel you through the inevitable and frequent obstacles that interfere with your goals. You can only carry that torch so far through the darkness without fuel— it must burn bright in order to see the trenches, but also see the wonderful finish line. If you believe in that, you’ll persevere when others retreat
“I feel all alone out here. Help!” Remember the saying “It’s all who you know?” It is, but in this era of social media, those connections are less resilient than ever before. Real success is derived from surrounding yourself with a group of peers that can help in a multitude of ways, and it’s best to achieve that in person, outside of a working environment. Need an introduction to someone? Perhaps a referral? What about the best vendor for the job? Need to introduce a friend to someone in a specific field as a favor? Humans find the best connections and communication come from being in the same room as another, often over food or drinks. Plan at least one get-together with your associates, and have them invite new blood into the mix— that’s how the web grows and stays dynamic.
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