Tips on how to thrive in business, from having a trusty confidante to systemising your company
Have you heard the saying ‘It can be lonely at the top’? When it comes to being at the top in business, it certainly can be lonely and, even when you’re part of a franchise network, there are still challenges you’ll face. Developing a strong mindset to overcome these challenges is essential. So how can you do this? Where do you start?
Let’s first think about what challenges you might face as a business owner. Dealing with sales objections is an obvious one or when a supplier says no to a delivery deadline. Do you struggle emotionally when a valuable team member hands in their notice? How do you strengthen your mindset against these types of scenarios and more?
There’s no doubt that if you have a solid grasp of your business operating systems and trust in the team surrounding you, it makes it much easier to handle the challenges that will inevitably come your way as a business owner. If you are part of a franchise, you’re most likely to be one step ahead of the competition as your franchisor will offer you proven systems and a support team to turn to when issues arise. For me, the next step is to be secure in your vision for your business.
Of course, if you’re joining a franchise, it will have its own overarching vision, mission and values but there has to be something that is personal to you within that vision too. For instance, at ActionCOACH our vision is to create world abundance through business re-education. But for many of our franchise partners, that is refined to an impact that starts closer to home in the communities where they live. That vision then feeds the direction of your business, what you’re setting out to do and the long-term strategies to get you there.
You see, if we focus all our time as business owners on what’s happening right now, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Our mind is forced to deal with the here and now, often firefighting rather than planning for the future. When you have a bigger goal in mind, you can prepare your mind for the challenges ahead, making it easier to deal with the issues in the now.
Importance of systems
I mentioned how having systems in your business are important and something you will find when investing in a franchise. Whether you choose to start a business from scratch or choose a franchise, systemising your business will give you a solid foundation to develop a resilient mindset. Even the best franchise models will have franchisees adding more systemisation to tailor to their needs. If you haven’t already read it, look at the journey you’re taken through in Michael E. Gerber’s The E-Myth; how by systemising your business you can be free to think like a true entrepreneur. I’d also recommend reading the nine steps to systemising your business which is contained in Instant Systems by Brad Sugars.
When you’re confident that your business can run like clockwork, you free yourself from the daily grind to have the time and energy to deal with one-off difficult situations or tackle recurring issues once and for all. Your mind has less to deal with and your mindset is rejuvenated.
There’s one more really big thing that is evident when we first started coaching business owners – emotion drives poor decision-making. You need to make decisions on what the data in your business tells you rather than on a gut feeling or because you consider the business your baby. You must train your mindset as a business leader who gives a considered response, not just a quickfire reaction. Developing this mindset is so much easier when you have your business data at your fingertips, and you have clear objectives set on that data. What is an acceptable level of staff costs versus your turnover? How many new business leads do you need for one to convert into a paying client? You can still be passionate about your business, but you need to take the emotion out of decision-making.
Collaboration is key
Talking about emotion brings me right back to the start. Being a business owner can be lonely and having a trusted partner, mentor or coach can really help keep a strong mindset. When challenges arise, talk with them about what you have actually gained from the situation – what have you learned? This is all about developing a ‘gain mentality’. It’s important because it contributes to a growth mindset which naturally leads to growth in your business.
“If we focus all our time as business owners on what’s happening right now, we lose sight of the bigger picture”
Having that person or mastermind group (read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill for more information on mastermind groups) to turn to when times are tough will keep you accountable but also lead you to formulate solutions. When you have that support, it’s easier to keep a strong mindset that isn’t so easily affected when one of your team hands in their notice, you lose a client or your supply chain breaks. You have the power to calmly assess the situation, respond with a solution and communicate with your stakeholders.
What you’ll find as a result is the people who surround you in your business will feel secure in you as a leader. The more people you have in your business who wish to emulate this strong mindset will leave you with a dramatically different work environment with an incredible opportunity to thrive. Both professional and personal satisfaction increases and those challenges you dreaded just don’t hold the same weight you once thought.
5 tips for a strong mindset:
1. Evaluate the systems in your business
2. Analyse the data in your business
3. Set clear objectives to keep you focused
4. Take the emotion out of decision making
5. Talk with a trusted partner
Julie Wagstaff is the UK co-founder of ActionCOACH.