Too many businesspeople are undermined or sabotaged in their business journey by neglecting their own personal growth. The investment of time and energy into growing and learning is far more important than chasing every deal and opportunity that comes along. I have spoken with many businessmen in their 40’s who have forgotten why they are in business. They invested everything into their business in their 30’s and in the process worked too hard and neglected their marriage. After a divorce they have had to regroup and cover new financial challenges. (Divorce is costly in more ways than one). Now in their 40’s they are financially sound again, but not sure of their why anymore. They have lost their sense of purpose.
In the busyness of everyday it is challenging to determine what is important and what can wait. The urgent can dominate. Stephen Covey taught us that often the non-urgent important things like planning and long-term forecasting are neglected. They make it to the urgent list when we start to notice problems which could have been avoided if we had made time for them earlier.
Long-term business success is a personal growth journey.
I believe there are other things which are essential to long-term business success which are not covered in many business books or coaching manuals. They come under the heading of who you need to BE to DO what you need to do, to HAVE the success you want to have. If you are to be a success in business over the longer term you need to be continually growing as a person as well as growing in your skills and confidence.
Obviously, you need to be making enough money to live well. If you have a great product or service, are excellent at what you do, and build a great team to help you make a difference in the lives of your customers, you will have success. To ensure long-term success more is required.
5 essentials to long-term business success.
- Make sure your work is always connected to PURPOSE. Sometimes your purpose is the difference you make to people’s lives in your business. Other times it is all about your family and creating a lifestyle for them to enjoy. Purpose can change over time. It is important to take time out and re-evaluate, especially after major change e.g., when the kids grow up and leave home, or after a marriage breakdown. You need a WHY that is bigger than making money to help you through all the seasons of a business lifetime.
- Know and live your CORE VALUES. Most of us have values, but many have not taken the time to know them and thus cannot articulate them. When you are clear on your values, they help you make tough decisions. They help you know with whom you will and will not align yourself. Strong core values help you stay true to yourself through all the rough and tumble of business life. They help you maintain healthy self-respect.
- Work on becoming more SECURE in who you are as a person. Insecurity is the reason many businesspeople are poor leaders. Insecurity kills relationships and makes it hard to trust. Insecurity makes us less resilient than we need to be to handle the pressures of business.
- Make time regularly to gain and maintain healthy PERSPECTIVE on business and life. When you are busy working hard time flies. There is so much that needs our attention, and it is easy to lose perspective. The busyness of everyday can erode what is important and cause us to totally neglect the essential things. It is crucial to take a day at least once a quarter to clarify perspective. This is time to reflect on progress, reassess goals, and make fresh plans for the next 90 days. This must become a normal process within your business, so you always have the clarity you need to make timely decisions.
- Increasing CONFIDENCE, CONTENTMENT and FULFILMENT. We go into business for increased freedom, flexibility, and fulfilment in our lives. Most business owners struggle to attain them. It is possible, especially with a good business mentor. If you have lost some confidence or feel discontent rising, it is a good indicator that you need to hit pause and work out why. Long-term, these qualities are more important than dollars.
It is always a delight to meet businesspeople who have achieved longer-term success. Without fail, they have worked on themselves as well as on their business. They have worked on the 5 essentials and are enjoying not only financial rewards, but the deeper rewards that come as well.
How are you tracking with the 5 essentials to long-term business success?
Would you add another?