Regardless of your career, one of the most important things you should be doing is establishing an effective life-business balance. There can be a fine line between success and failure, and it’s a tricky rope to walk. Building a business up takes hard work, determination and a thick skin. It’s easy to let it all get on top of you and lose sight of yourself, and it becomes all you can think about, but that will only be detrimental to your business and your personal life. The road to success is never an easy path unless you’re incredibly lucky or privileged, and you won’t get a pot of gold for nothing. But there are thousands of articles and books on how to succeed in business, and all areas of life, and it can be difficult to boil it down. So, we’ve outlined these 8 easy to remember rules to apply across your whole life spectrum that will help you shine and stand out from the rest:
* Get yourself a mentor & pay it forward – no successful person gets to where they are with a helping hand or few along the way. There’s no shame in it; who better to learn from than someone who has lived and experienced it all already? Mentors have travelled the road you want to, made and learned from the mistakes you will likely make, are better connected and will help you reach your goal faster than if you go it alone. Whether financial, health, professional or personal – support is essential and having a mentor you trust to help with the frustrations can turn venting into actually working to solve the problem. It will help with your confidence and show you how important it is to pass that wisdom onto the next eager young you once your goals are achieved.
* Add value – Wherever you go and whatever you do, you want to be adding value. In your professional life, offering increased value means making more money and in your personal life, more value translates to closer relationships and strong personal growth. How do you add value at work, and in your personal relationships? What do you bring to the table? Asking yourself this question makes you identify your strengths, values and goals and think again about what people around you want, so it’s one you should be asking yourself consistently.
* Go with your gut – Einstein called intuition the only truly valuable thing; Steve Jobs said that it is “more powerful than intellect” and much as we hate to cite the man, Donald Trump credits his multi-billion dollar empire to decisions based purely on intuition. There’s definitely something to it and as a business owner, and in life, you need to learn to make proper judgements and be able to trust and depend upon yourself. Self-doubt leads to you missing out on opportunities and forever planning stuff without making a start, and tapping into this gut intuition is a very useful business skill.
* Analyse yourself – We are all a work in progress, and mistakes just happen. You will make many of them, but if you don’t properly analyse them and learn from them, you’ll become stale and stagnant. You need to adjust your attitude and you will grow. Examine all your relationships, because your relationships with people are what make you successful in all areas of life. Don’t hate yourself for failing. You just found another way not to do it, after all. Pick yourself back up, examine what went wrong and why, and identify what you need and know for the next try.
* Stay open-minded & educated – History has taught us that closed-mindedness only holds us back. Change is constant and ramping up speed lately, and you don’t and won’t know everything so be open to new ways of thinking, creating and doing business, and make the effort to keep up. Staying open-minded and educated will give you increased confidence and a stronger sense of self.
* Be clear in your vision & have faith – Having read dozens of biographies on great people and also from our own personal observations and encounters, we’ve realized that those people who achieve greatness – professionally and personally – are people who have followed their passions and been true to themselves. And (without being stubborn or letting goals become outdated) you need to be consistent with it, and keep pushing yourself. Do you have a tendency to throw in the towel when it gets tough? When a problem arises, is it a problem or an opportunity? Do you lost sight of objectives under stress? Would people describe you as naturally optimist? How do you view failure? Addressing these now is essential so that they don’t hold you back in future.
* Stay healthy – in mind, body and soul. It’s hard to inspire others when you aren’t at your best yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy day-to-day and forget about the damage we’re doing to our bodies (stress-relief wine or never really having a proper lunch, for example) but whatever figures or sales you’re raking in, it won’t last if you’re not taking care of yourself. That means eating, exercising and keeping an eye on each end of the candle. It also means remembering to have fun and staying positive, replacing negative self-talk with gratitude and acknowledgement of how far you’ve come. Most people beat themselves up internally like this, but start practicing complimenting yourself next time you want to self-criticize and don’t waste any more time or energy worrying or complaining. Fear is inevitable — it’s how you choose to respond that makes the difference. Your business will inevitably face crises and crossroads. Don’t let any of them stop you.
* Remember to share – Not only is it definitely true that a problem shared is one halved, but it’s also true that many minds of different interests/talents/diversities are better than one. Getting too close to the problem that you can’t see wood for trees is nothing to be embarrassed about and happens to the best of us. And there’s nothing better to get the creative juices flowing again than talking it though with someone who’s opinion you value, or even just someone you can use as a sounding board. Keep the right people around you whose opinions and advice you can trust; share ideas and accept help and criticism. Share blame, and be generous. Attitude matters and good team players are valued, and large complex projects always require people with diverse skills.