My friend Jenny posed a question on her Facebook page: “What is your best business advice?”
Having owned and published a magazine, worked for other people and been a solopreneur for many years, I have learned an immense amount about having a thriving business. Some I learned by trial and error, other lessons came as joyful revelations and aha moments.
Some arrived via “inspiristas”—those who inspire others by example—while still more showed up like brightly colored stones along a path I never expected to traverse.
2. Choose something that you would do, even if you didn’t get paid for it.
3. Share your enthusiasm about it wildly with the world.
4. Create value for your clients or customers.
5. Under promise and over deliver.
6. Innovate daily. Be an opti-mystic who sees everything through the eyes of possibility.
7. Use tools that reinforce your goals and dreams. Create a vision board that illustrates how you would like your work to unfold. Make lists of your ideal work situation. Write a story as if it has already happened.
8. Tap into intuition as well as logic.
9. Meditate. I came up with the name of my business By Divine Design while in meditation.
10. Learn from those who are successfully doing what you want to do. Pick their brains if they are open to it.
11. Find a mentor.
12. Know what your work is worth and ask for fair and appropriate compensation without stuttering. And then be willing to receive it.
13. Serve with your whole heart.
14. Keep your word and be reliable.
15. Be in integrity.
16. Set intention and take inspired action; doing what it takes to see it through.
17. Face fears that may arise about success and failure without letting them sideline you. Be mindful of self sabotage tendencies.
18. Surround yourself with a support team who are your ardent cheerleaders and can hold the vision with you for sustaining your business.
19. Create alliances.
20. Know your audience and give them what they need. There is no one-size-fits-all-cookie-cutter product or service.
21. Rather than focusing on their “pain point” as is often encouraged by coaches, hone in on their “pleasure point.” How would they be delighted to benefit by working with you?
22. Ask for referrals.
23. Make irresistible offers and then follow through on them.
24. Write a checklist every day and cross off the items with colorful highlighters as you complete them.
25. Play nicely in the sandbox. Cooperate, don’t compete and don’t throw sand. Creating goodwill goes a long way.
26. Be the subject of “good gossip.”
27. Be the best at what you do such that people can’t help but send others to you.
28. Stand out in a crowd.
29. I have heard over and over that folks do business with those they know, like and trust… it is all about relationships.
30. Keep studying your market and how you fit into it.
31. Take classes on PR and learn to be shamelessly self promoting.
32. Know that your gifts and talents aren’t doing anyone any good if you keep them locked away. Bring them out into the light of day.
34. Practice what is colloquially known as your elevator speech as much for your own edification as to sell your services. I call mine my bathroom speech, since often women will recognize me while I am washing my hands and then ask what I am doing these days.
35. Work in an environment that feeds your soul, with inspirational décor, music and a clear space to work.
36. Keep your day job as a means of funding your dream. I learned that bit of wisdom from transformational speaker Lisa Nichols.
37. Unless you are an accountant, hire one that you can trust.
38. Take time to nurture yourself as well as your business, so as to avoid what I call “tater tot” syndrome which is feeling like a crispy-fried piece of potato that sits on a plate waiting to be devoured.
39. Ride the winds of change as you adapt to the needs of your particular industry.
41. Work with other socially conscious business owners who practice right livelihood as well.
42. Always carry business cards with you since you never know when you will need to hand them out.
43. Be generous with your time and energy, but don’t give away the candy store.
44. Be bold and unafraid to make mistakes. There is no such thing as failure if you learn something from it.
45. Be true to your dream and know that it isn’t always a straight path to the top, but rather a winding road. It took me 20 years from setting an intention to interview His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the actual moment when I did so.
46. Know when to cut bait. When your return on investment isn’t balanced, it may be time to let go and move on.
47. Care about your employees and compensate them well. They deserve it and your business deserves to have loyal workers.
48. Go for a win-win when negotiating.
49. My mentor taught me that ‘discipline is freedom’. Within that framework and structure, you pour your creative juices.
50. Feed your business and it will feed you.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Ivan Brnčić/Pixoto