Business growth

Changing Your Mindset To Grow Your Business

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“Happiness depends on your mindset and attitude.”

-Roy T. Bennett

It takes a different mindset to move from working in the corporate world to running your own business. Though there are some experiences from your corporate life that you can apply to your life as an entrepreneur, it’s a whole different ball game. You may need to let go of some habits and beliefs while adopting new ones. The same thing can be said if you want to grow your business. Grabbing the opportunity to grow is just the first step of your journey, you first have to shift your mindset before actual growth can occur.

I think it’s fair to say that despite the challenges we are facing today, the fact that you are thinking of growing your business means that you are doing extremely well. 50% of small businesses fail within the first year and here you are thinking of how to grow your company. The question is, where do you start? Start with shifting to the correct mindset. You might have a great growth strategy but without the right mindset, chances are it will fail. Always remember that your mindset is what drives you to keep moving forward.

Don’t Focus On Others

“Happiness has to do with your mindset, not with outside circumstance.”

-Steve Maraboli

If you ever want to execute your growth strategy, you have to be laser-focused on what needs to be done. Do you know what’s the biggest distraction in the modern world? Envy. With how much people flaunt their success on social media, it can be so easy to get envious and in turn, get distracted. Focusing on others only slows you down. Don’t let other people’s success dictate your own expectations. Focus on your own path and you will achieve your own success.

Learn To Let Go

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

-Walt Disney

When you first started your business, most likely you had to do everything. Finance, sales, and marketing are just some of your daily responsibilities. Now that you are growing your business, you have to learn to let go of those responsibilities. Learn to delegate and focus on the bigger picture. Don’t get stuck on operational tasks and learn new things that will help you grow as a leader. I understand that it’s hard but if you ever want to be a business leader and grow your company, learn to let go.

Empowering your team.

Building Trust Through Empowerment

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What makes a good leader? Is it the ability to make quick and decisive decisions? Is it the ability to create a vision and have the will to achieve that vision? How about the ability to empower their teams? By definition, empowerment means to give someone the authority or power to do something. A simple concept yet can carry your business to new heights. Empowering your team not only allows them to perform at their highest level but also speeds up the decision-making process in your organisation. Empowerment also builds a strong foundation of trust which is one of the pillars of a successful company. As a leader, start building trust by empowering your teams.

Did you know that 67% of employees are more willing to put extra effort if they feel empowered? That extra effort translates to higher productivity which in turn can lead to success. This just goes to show that success is not a one-person show. It takes effort and excellence from everyone in the organisation. Excellence and effort that is encouraged through empowerment. Think of it this way, would you be in the leadership position or running your own business if no one empowered you? We all have been empowered at some point which allowed us to reach our highest potential. Be the leader your team deserves. Do the same for them.

Empower Your Team By Being Open To New Ideas

Invite your team to share their ideas and opinions. Yes, there will be some silly ones but there will also be good ones. Take the time to actually listen to all of them and consider the ones that have potential. Doing so makes the team members feel empowered and valued. What’s even better is if you managed to implement an idea that was brought forward by the team, it makes them feel more invested and involved with the company.

Do Not Micromanage

I cannot stress this enough. Stop micromanaging. Support and empower your team by providing them with the tools and resources to finish the job. Be clear on the results you want instead of telling them what they need to do to achieve those results. Suggest processes and procedures but give them to freedom to implement their own processes and procedures.

Give Your Team The Power To Make Decisions

The less red tape there is, the better. Give your team members the authority to make decisions on their own. However, only give that power to skilled and knowledgeable team members. The more control they have over their work, the more empowered they feel.

Trust sign

Building Trust As A Leader

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“He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted.”

-Lao Tzu

It’s important to gain your customer’s trust but it’s just as important to gain the trust of your team members. Having the complete trust of your team means no more second-guessing and things get done in a timely manner. Imagine running a company where the staff does not have confidence in the management. Forget about meeting deadlines as the team will constantly question the management. Teamwork just becomes a buzzword as the team members work on their own because they feel that they can’t rely on anybody. The leaders also become less transparent as they feel that the team cannot be trusted with company information. It’s chaos and the perfect recipe for failure. It’s a nightmare and if you want to avoid this nightmare, start trusting and in turn gain trust.

A company’s trust level affects both the tangible and intangible aspects of the business. According to this study, employees at high-trust companies experience 74% less stress and 50% higher productivity. It makes sense if you think about it. The less stressed an employee is, the more energy he or she has which in turn translates to being more productive. As a leader and entrepreneur, ensure that you have a solid foundation by building trust.

Be The Role Model

“A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.”

-Harold MacMillan

Trust is a two-way street. How can you expect to gain the trust of your team if you don’t give them your trust? Be the role model. Set the standard for others to follow. Show them the level of trust you are willing to give them and they will respond in kind.

Building Trust Is Hard

“Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability. Be transparent with your team, even when the truth may be unpopular or inconvenient.”

-Bill George

Showing our vulnerabilities goes against our basic human instincts. Telling your team bad news is uncomfortable. What I’m saying is that building trust is hard. It’s not convenient and sometimes, it can even be uncomfortable. Do you know what else is hard and uncomfortable? The path to success. The sooner you understand that this is just part of the process, the more comfortable you will be with trusting your team.

Be Accessible

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

-Bryant McGill

Be more accessible to your team. When your employees can easily get in touch with you to talk about workplace issues, you are building a strong foundation of trust. It also strengthens the line of communication between the leadership and the teams, which can result in the organisation being more efficient and productive.

Blaming others

Stop Playing The Blame Game

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“The blame game is a waste of time. Any time you’re busy fixing blame, you’re wasting energy and not fixing the problem.”

-Rick Warren

No matter how much we want it to be, life is not always going to be peachy. Problems can and will eventually happen. When things go sideways, attack the problem and find the solution. Don’t waste time pointing fingers. It’s a waste of time and resources. Playing the blame game does not work and never will. However, we are still doing it either knowingly or unknowingly. It’s part of our nature as human beings. Blaming others for our mistakes is a mental defense mechanism. When we make mistakes, we feel mostly negative emotions. In order to get rid of those emotions, our brain automatically looks for someone else to blame to get rid of those bad feelings. Blaming might be part of our nature but that does not mean we can’t control it. Stop playing the blame game and succeed in both your professional and personal life.

Blaming is contagious. That is why it is essential for any competent organisation to build a culture of accountability if they ever hope to succeed. Here are a few practices you can do to help bring a sense of accountability to your company.

Own Your Mistakes

One of the reasons why people blame others is to preserve their self-image. No one wants to be seen as incompetent or a failure, especially as a leader. However, people in leadership positions tend to forget that owning up to their mistakes, while hard, will gain them the respect and loyalty of their team. Just like blaming, being accountable is also contagious. You want your staff to be more responsible? Show them how it’s done. Resist the urge to pass the blame and own up to your missteps. Blaming others is the easy way out and we all know that success does not come easy.

You Might Have Contributed To The Problem

Admitting that you might have played a part in creating the problem takes more courage than owning up to your mistakes. As a leader, everything goes through you, and when a problem or mistake occurs, you might have something to do with it. You might not have caused it directly but carefully examine the situation and see what your lapses were. Doing so not only builds a culture of accountability but also strengthens teamwork. It’s everyone’s mistake and will take everyone to fix it.

Path to success

Path To Success: Accountability

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Accountability leads to success. Whether you are climbing the corporate ladder or leading your company through the challenging world of business, being accountable is one sure way of achieving success. Though it is just a part of the greater whole, it is an essential one. These days, business owners and employees alike are more impatient than ever. They want to succeed as soon as possible. However, success is never going to be that easy. With how fast things are going, it is understandable and tempting to take shortcuts. Yes, you might achieve short-term success, but true success is a long and epic journey. A journey that begins with accountability.

What can accountability do for you and your business? Improved performance, higher employee morale, and increased commitment are just some of them. An accountable team member is a productive team member. If an employee accepts 100% responsibility for everything that they do, they go all-in with the job at hand and produce excellent results. Sounds good? Read on and find out what else accountability does for you. How can it help you achieve success?

Quality Results

What happens if employees don’t take responsibility for their work? Most likely, they produce subpar results. If your team is irresponsible, reckless, and doesn’t hold themselves accountable, chances are it will show in the work they produce. It can be a nightmare especially for start-ups or fledgling businesses. First impressions last and if a customer doesn’t have an initial good experience, then you could potentially lose that customer forever. Teach your team the beauty of being accountable for their work. Teach them how to be proud of what they do. Once they do, they will put their hearts into everything they do and you’ll get quality results every time.

Minimise Costly Mistakes

We all make mistakes. Even the best of us have bad days and make bad decisions that can cost the company. However, owning up to those mistakes can make it easier for leaders and team members alike to move forward to find a solution for those mistakes. Passing on the blame will only prolong the process of problem-solving which costs time and resources. Being accountable during these situations also presents opportunities to become more creative and innovative. Individuals who aren’t afraid to admit their flaws are not afraid to reach out to other talented individuals in the organisation to collaborate in finding a solution. It’s a great example of turning a mishap into something positive.

Employee feedback

Encouraging Employee Feedback

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Customer feedback is valuable but employee feedback is just as important. It is essential in improving your company’s culture, processes, and internal operations. Smart leaders know this. They know that good workplace culture and strong company culture are based upon a strong foundation of trust between the leaders and the team members. To build this trust, you first need to encourage open communication in your company. And one way of doing this is to encourage employee feedback.

On average, small companies spend $1,500 training a single employee. With that said, encouraging and welcoming regular feedback from your employees is a great way of increasing employee engagement. The higher a company’s employee engagement is, the higher its employee retention is. Employee feedback also allows you to see potential problems within your company before they occur. There are just some things that team members see that the leaders don’t. The problem is that most employees and staff are hesitant in giving honest and blunt feedback to their managers because it usually means disagreeing or criticising their immediate superiors. Without honest feedback, your business grows stagnant. So how do you encourage your employees to speak out and provide feedback?

Anonymous Employee Feedback Forms

Sending out anonymous employee feedback forms or surveys is a great way of getting honest and direct feedback from your employees. Being anonymous allows them to speak their minds without fear of retribution or criticism. Make sure to ask the right questions and make sure the survey isn’t too long. No one wants to feel like they’re taking a major exam.

Be Specific When Asking For Feedback

Don’t just ask, “What’s your feedback?” Asking this type of general question will only provide you with positive feedback. You want both the positives and negatives. Be more specific. If you and your team just completed a project, ask questions like, “What could’ve been done better?” or “How could I have led you better?” Asking these types of specific questions will give you more valuable information to become better as a leader.

Open Door Policy

Your business needs continuous feedback in order to grow and improve over time. To facilitate this, you need to support a safe environment for feedback. Have an open door policy in your company. Encourage your employees to share constructive feedback with the leadership. No need to wait for meetings in order for them to voice out their concerns. Email and work chat apps are awesome tools you can use for this purpose.

Transparent workplace

Building A Culture Of Transparency

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No one wants to be left out in the dark. Some if not most of you have probably already experienced working for a company that lacks transparency. It can be infuriating and frustrating not knowing where a project or the company is going because the leaders refuse to provide the much-needed transparency. As part of the team, you know you have the skills to do the job but not knowing the direction you’re supposed to go, it’s stressful, to say the least. You feel that management doesn’t trust you enough to provide you essential information. This creates distrust towards them. This lack of transparency erodes one of the pillars to creating a great company culture. Trust.

Now that you know how important transparency is to build an awesome company or team culture, I hope that you are being more transparent with your team. If you’re still not convinced, here are some numbers for you. 50% of employees think that the companies they are employed in are being held back due to a lack of transparency. 46% state that the lack of transparency drove them to seek new jobs. We all know how difficult and time-consuming it is to hire new people even more so high performers. If you want to retain your team, work towards building a culture of transparency.

Accessible Information

Make information more accessible to everyone on the team. I am not talking about highly sensitive information but day-to-day information and the ones that make the decision-making process much easier. Information like, which stage of the project the team is currently in. Who is in charge or working on which aspect of the project? Who is working with whom? What’s the overall progress? Making all of this information more accessible to your team allows them to get a sense of what they need to do, which direction they need to go, and make decisions on their own.

Give Your Team A Voice

Have you noticed how open people are on social media? They share details about their lives, personal thoughts, and ideas. That’s what happens when you give people a platform to voice out and connect. Why not do the same for your company? There are a lot of office networking tools out there that you can utilise. These tools help you and your team learn from each other and share ideas. When you get your employees talking and sharing on a common platform, you are creating a network of ideas that you can use to grow your business. Remember to also share your thoughts and ideas with the team.

Team culture

Strengthening Your Team Culture

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We know how important team culture is to your company’s success. Though it is something intangible and cannot be measured, it influences how your team and your company functions and do business. With that said, what’s your team culture like? Is it moving your business in the right direction? Is it in line with your own values and vision? If it is indeed bringing your company closer to its goals, then there is one more thing left to do. You need to strengthen and improve it. Just like everything in business, nothing is perfect. There is always something that needs improvement. In this case, time to see how you can strengthen and improve your team culture and fast track your way to success.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to building your team culture. Each team is different and building a team culture around yours depends on a lot of different factors. However, once you have one that is producing good results, you need to strengthen it. Why? Because over time, even a strong and positive culture can be slowly replaced with a less desirable one. And it does happen. Remember those companies that used to be good then over time became shadows of their former selves? There are a lot of factors that can cause this type of decline and team culture is one of them. Be consistent. Strengthen and improve what’s working for you.

Establish The Team’s Top Values

When things are going great, it does not mean you don’t need to talk with your team. Keep up the communication. In one of your sessions, discuss which values are more important than the others. Pick the top five and come to an agreement that you and the team will include them in everyday conversations. Don’t force them or it will become tiring very fast. If you value accountability, a quick reminder from time to time on who is accountable for what is enough. From meetings to casual conversations, reminding them, and yourself, of those values, can go a long way.

Be Transparent

Trust is the foundation of any great team culture. When team members trust their leader and the leader trusts the team, only good things can happen. For one, it increases employee engagement and according to a survey, 71% of executives say that employee engagement is critical to a company’s success. How do you build trust? Just be transparent. Share the successes of the company, the team, and the team members to everyone. It’s a great way of boosting morale. If there is a big challenge that the company is facing, share it with the team. No one wants to be left in the dark. By sharing, you are sending the message that you are facing the challenge together as a team.

Team culture

How Important Is Team Culture?

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Of all the aspects of running a business or a company, team culture is one aspect that is quite difficult to grasp. Unlike productivity and profit margins, culture is intangible. There are no records of it that you can refer to nor measure it. It is generally unspoken and unwritten yet essential for any company that wants to succeed.

Team culture or company culture plays a big part in your company’s identity. It impacts how well your company performs and how the media perceives it. It is made up of the values, behaviours, beliefs, and attitudes shared by the team members. It’s how they treat each other on a daily basis. It’s how they approach challenges. It’s how they work with each other to achieve a common goal. And it can be both positive and negative. So yes, team culture can greatly affect whether your company will achieve success or completely fail.

What makes a team culture “good”?

Competitive companies are not only focused on attracting new customers but hiring top talent as well. Easier said than done. Offering big paychecks and fat bonuses is no longer enough to attract high performers. In fact, 46% of job seekers cite company culture as an important factor when applying for a job. So what makes a team culture “good”? Bean bags and a ping pong table in the office area do not automatically create a good team culture. As was mentioned before, culture is intangible. In general, good team culture is where team members freely share knowledge with each other, collaborate, openly communicate and support each other. It is all about the people and their attitudes. I would say that a good team culture all boils down to team members having positive mindsets. And having a positive mindset is the first step to achieving success.

Culture Defines Your Company Internally And Externally

Your team culture defines how your company interacts with other businesses, your customers, partners, and the media. How your team does things will create a ripple effect across all the other aspects of your company. If your team members love sharing ideas with each other, then chances are your company will be known for welcoming ideas from the customers. If your team is known for taking shortcuts, then the public will see your company as a company that provides subpar products and services. That’s the thing with culture. It spreads its influence over, in this case, your company. It represents how you do business and how the public perceives your company. Again, it can either be positive or negative and it all starts with you.


Good Leadership: Delayed Gratification

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“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” – Brian Tracy

Delayed gratification is the discipline or exercise of not focusing on instant success but instead focusing on achieving long-term success. To have such discipline means that you are in the mindset of playing the long game. You are in control of your primal urges to always go for instant gratification no matter what it is. I’m not saying that short-term goals are insignificant. In fact, small goals are essential as long as they are in line with your big goals. The problem comes in when you put in most of your energy to achieving as many small goals as possible because you crave that feeling of having succeeded. It feels good for a while but did those short-term successes brought you closer to your main goal? To become a better leader, you have to rise above the urge to go after instant success and let logic and reason take over.

Being a good leader is not just about guiding your organisation and your team to success. It is also about putting aside your own wants and needs to be able to prioritise the company as a whole. A good leader understands that the company is not just a business but a source of livelihood for those employed in it. A lot is at stake and pursuing instant gratification can only hinder your and the company’s success. Be disciplined. Resist those urges. Practice delayed gratification and the rewards would be much greater.

Leadership Maturity and Delayed Gratification

Dishonesty, taking shortcuts, and falling for easy money are the most common downfalls for leaders, especially for those that are new to the role. What do those three things have in common? All of them are the results of chasing instant success. Good leaders are mature enough to know that there is no easy path to real success. It takes a lot of patience, vision, and resilience. Going for delayed gratification is a sign of being a mature leader. It shows that you already have the willpower to overcome our most primal human urge of achieving instant success.

Humility and Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification teaches you humility. Most if not all entrepreneurs have egos. Having an ego is not the problem. Having a huge one is. It is when you overstate your significance or progress is when things can become problematic. When you start telling people how awesome and successful you are, it goes to your head. You lose focus and become disconnected from reality. Practicing delayed gratification lets you focus on what matters. You prevent yourself from wasting time showing people how successful you are. Instead, you use that time working towards real success. You let your work speak for itself and when people start noticing, it provides much greater satisfaction.