It’s often said that successful people have something different about them, which sets them apart from the rest of us, which means they are more successful than others. Whilst this may be true, I believe we can all improve our chances of success by watching, learning, and taking on successful entrepreneurs’ traits and habits. It may not be easy, it may take time, and some of these behaviours may even feel unnatural at first, but I honestly believe it is possible. If you would like help in developing these behaviours get in touch and ask for a career coach today.
Brad Sugars – Action Coach
Over the course of my coaching career, I’ve been fortunate to spend time with Brad Sugars and learn from him some of the wealth-building habits that successful entrepreneurs consistently demonstrate. If you’ve not yet come across Brad Sugars, he is quite arguably the person that has created the coaching industry as we know it today. Brad is the author of around 16 books, all designed to help business people and entrepreneurs really succeed in commerce. One of the things I most like about Brad’s books is that they are created to be so simple that people read them and then go out and do something with their newfound knowledge. That always been Brad’s goal; to get people to read and act. As you’ve probably found, there are too many books that are so theoretical you get to the end, and you go, “Well, that all makes sense, but what am I going to do?” Hence the reason Brad called his company ActionCOACH; because without action, you’re never going to make any progress.
Taking action is probably the biggest thing that business owners struggle with and especially with my clients. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is having the confidence to learn new things. The majority of my clients, believe it or not, are dyslexic. They never finished formal education, and they’re absolutely petrified of learning. This is a deep-seated fear that was learned in school and has followed them through life. Often as students, they were belittled in class by teachers who didn’t know how to adapt their teaching methods and made these children feel like they didn’t fit in until the student no longer wanted to learn. They couldn’t wait to get away from education, and then all of a sudden, they’re told, “Okay, well, to run a business, you actually need to learn some new stuff.”
Many educational centres are changing and implementing adaptive learning strategies to draw out an individual’s brilliance; this has come too late for those in their thirties and forties. However, to develop those successful entrepreneur habits, you have to realise that the moment you stop learning and growing is the moment your business will stop growing too. The moment you stop learning, to put it bluntly, the company will grow to your level of incompetence.
Use A Career Coach To Nurture Your Individual Growth
The moment you run out of ideas is the moment the business stops growing. You can employ people who have ideas, but you’ll still hold them back because you’re not growing. Therefore, the individual’s growth is vital to ensure that they can build the people that build the business. That starts with the owner or the entrepreneur, or the CEO. You’ve got to build the people, so they then build the team and so on.
I think that was probably one of the biggest things that killed businesses during 2007, 2008, when we had the big financial crisis. It wasn’t the fact that the companies were terrible; it was just that leadership didn’t know what to do.
One of the main challenges with that crisis was that most companies had been started in the five years previous and had never seen anything but good times. They didn’t understand what to do in a downturn economy. To use an analogy, think of how a farmer runs his farm. The farmer knows that you’re going to go through winter each cycle, so they plan for winter. Business owners never really prepare for the winter season. They don’t plan for the fall. And when we saw the fall come in 2007, it was apparent that there would be cutbacks and redistribution challenges as winter would be demanding that year.
A typical recession cycle is seven to ten years. During 2019 we were coming to the end of an economic summer. We started the negative cycle in 2008. So, even without the Covid pandemic, we were not far off from another negative cycle coming. Undoubtedly the pandemic exacerbated the situation and took many people by surprise as to just how damaging and long-lasting the challenge has been and continues to be.
Get the basics in place before anything else.
But when it comes to business, I see too many business owners forget about the fundamentals and try and build this fancy-schmancy stuff. They’re stuck on the bright, shiny object syndrome, and they jump to the next thing and the next without having the basics in place.
We’ve all suffered from bright, shiny object syndrome and superhero syndrome, thinking that the business is all about us. It’s not. It’s about your team, and you’ve got to build the team. Fortunately or unfortunately, we’ve had a gazillion great leadership books in the last 10, 20 years, but we haven’t had any great management books. We definitely haven’t had any great team books since Lencioni did Five Dysfunctions. That presents a challenge for entrepreneurs who need guidance in getting the basics in place before moving on.
The reality is that most people want to skip supervision and management and go straight into leadership. They want to drive the car even before they can run to the bus stop.
Management is about competent, productive people.
To put it simply, management is about competent, productive people. If there’s incompetency, it’s because there’s bad management. If there’s a lack of productivity, it’s because there’s terrible management or no management, as is often the case in most companies these days. From a leadership perspective, it’s about passionate, focused people. You’ve got to have passion; you’ve got to have focus. If you look at a company that has leadership without management, they’ve got passion and direction, but they can’t do their job, and they are doing it very slowly.
If you’ve got management without leadership, they can do their job, and they do it, but there’s no passion or focus. There’s no g; everyone’s no direction. So you have to balance both of them.
Brad Sugars suggests it was around the nineties where manager became a dirty word. It was no longer good enough to be a manager; everyone wanted to be a leader instead. Yes, you want management, and yes, you want leadership. You can’t kill off one to have the other; you’ve got to do both.
I would add that it was around the same time that people got very confused between execution and strategy, and all of a sudden, everyone wanted to be a strategist. I’ve noticed, especially with some of the SME family-owned businesses and privately owned enterprises, that they start a business, which becomes good. And they’ve got all their friends, their first employees, and they promote their first employees to manager level, but they don’t train them how to be a manager. I describe this as experience-based promotion, not competency-based promotion.
And then the business does some more good stuff, and everyone’s really working hard, long hours, doing really good shit. And then, all of a sudden, what happens is they need to promote people to executive level. So they promote all the managers to executives, and all of a sudden, they’ve got this big void because they’ve never thought about succession management. They’ve not done any of that. And this is where they start to really struggle.
When you take a company like McDonald’s, they’ve probably got the best management training system in the world. People don’t realise that management training starts when you’re actually still at a crew member level where you’re serving customers. They begin to become conditioned at that level. By the time they’ve become a manager, three or four years later, they’re competent at what they do.
Successful entrepreneurs know that they need a management system, not a hotchpotch approach to adding layers to their team. If you’d like to explore this subject more, I’d recommend reading Brad Sugars book ‘Adding Zeros’. It’s all about how companies have exponential growth. There are functions to companies that have exponential growth, but the people are the core behind that and how you manage and lead is a big part.
If you don’t have the foundations in place, you can have exponential growth, but you can also have an exponential collapse because the foundations are just not there.
We don’t know what we haven’t done yet. If you’ve not run an exponential growth company, you’ve got to have to read from someone who has. Read and learn from others mistakes and then take action to apply these learnings to your business. And the same with wealth. You’ve never built wealth before. Where are you going to learn it? The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer for a simple reason. The rich have learned the habits and strategies of wealth, and the poor have learnt the habits and strategies of poverty.
No matter your original circumstances or what conditioning you have had to date, you have the choice as to how your life moves on from this point. You can choose to harness your desire to be successful and change your conditioning by learning new habits from those you want to emulate. Fuel this desire by getting around the right people and being in the right environments. You’ve already demonstrated that desire by reading this post, but what got you here won’t get you there. You’ve got to keep learning and keep growing.
Habits of Success
Here’s a short list of my favourite habits of success.
- Demonstrate appreciation.
Successful people know that when they show appreciation to people such as their employees, loved ones, or colleagues, they make those people feel better, but they also feel more positive and successful. The fact is, you are more likely to receive help willingly if people believe you appreciate them and you can reach your goals faster. Appreciation costs nothing.
- Take Action.
Ensure you create a vision, set goals, and break them down into small steps. If the challenge seems particularly daunting, visualise and affirm your success. Believe in yourself, and then get out there and go for it. Nothing happens until you take action.
If there is one thing successful entrepreneurs appear to do more than anyone else, it is to read. They consume books with an incredible appetite. Dedicate time to reading each day. It can’t just be a coincidence that successful people are well-read.
- Set Big, Clear Goals.
Ensure you clearly communicate these goals to everyone in your team. It may be basic, but you’ll always be limited or lifted by the goals you set.
In addition to surrounding yourself with people you can learn from, it’s who you know that makes all the difference in realising vital funds and achieving significant exits, not what you know.
- Accept Failure.
If you aren’t failing, you need to push yourself harder. Push the boundaries and accept that you will fail, but you’ll also gain opportunities to learn.
- Start with the days most challenging task.
Known as “Eating the Frog“, this means when you’re freshest early in the day, start with your most frustrating, gruelling or procrastination inducing task.
If anything you’ve read resonates with you, and you want more information, head over to boolkah.com and get in contact. And remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.