So far in this series of articles about your IDEAL business, we’ve asked ourselves What Does An IDEAL Business Look Like? We dug deep into the businesses in our Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame and discovered What Every IDEAL Business Has in Common.
Your ideal business can look however you imagine, as long as it serves your clients, makes a profit, and gives you the life you desire.
But how do you ACHIEVE that ideal business? When we asked, the Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame had the answer to that too.
Every year, when we induct women into our Hall of Fame women, we ask them what their top five strategies for success are. And we’ve condensed over three hundred pieces of priceless advice into the five strategies you need to achieve your ideal business.
Are you ready?
The first strategy is no surprise: Your ideal business begins with YOU.
YOU are the most important asset to your business, and the way you think about, care for and conduct yourself is all crucial strategy for your business’ success.
But don’t take it from us. Take it from the outstanding women we’ve recognised in our Hall of Fame. These women built their ideal businesses by starting with themselves.
We already know that your ideal business is unique to you, so, to build your ideal business, you have to be uniquely you.
That means not worrying about what your competition is doing, like designer Leona Edminston advised.
“Run your own race! Don’t be too influenced by others.” – Leona Edminston, 2016
When you aren’t constantly looking over your shoulder for what others are doing, you can focus on yourself. But, as Maxine Horne of Vita Group warned, it’s important that through that focus, you keep yourself in perspective.
“Take your business seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.” – Maxine Horne, 2016
When you keep your focus on yourself and yourself in perspective, you can build your business from a genuine place. Lorna Jane Clarkson of Lorna Jane Activewear, stressed the importance of being your authentic self.
“Live an authentic life. Find your purpose, be driven by your heart and follow your dreams.” – Lorna Jane Clarkson, 2013
Before you can be yourself and display the kind of authenticity that is so important to building your ideal business, you have to know who that person is. When you know yourself, what drives you and what’s important to you, you will have a constant totem to refer back to on every step of your business journey.
Juliette Wright of GIVIT stressed the importance of referring back to your own values.
“Find out your values, prioritise them, and live to them.” – Juliette Wright, 2015
Knowing your values will make every decision you make in your business that much easier, but it’s equally crucial to know what you are and are not good at. Knowing that will tell you what you should be doing and what you should be delegating. The knowledge alone isn’t enough. As Melinda Cruz of The Miracle Babies Foundation advises, you have to admit it.
“Acknowledge, out loud, both your weaknesses and your strengths.” – Melinda Cruz, 2013
Knowing yourself and living accordingly will enhance your business and ensure you find more joy in the process. Chris Cameron of Rockcote stressed this point in her success strategies.
“Live in accordance with your true nature and play to your strengths.”
Once you’ve learned yourself and your values and made sure to stay true to who you are, it’s equally vital to be aware of the way you conduct yourself. If you are your business’ most important asset, then the way you act is your business’ most important precedent.
This idea of setting an example for your business is a key concept for Stephanie Alexander of the Kitchen Garden Foundation.
“Do as you would be done by. Your behaviour will set the tone for your business.” – Stephanie Alexander, 2016
So it isn’t just about making strides in your business. How you make them matters to. The ideal business is a business that behaves well; that’s what Hetty Johnson of Bravehearts believes.
“Achievements are only valuable when achieved honestly and with integrity.” – Hetty Johnson, 2016
No matter what you achieve, it is paramount to your ongoing success that it never goes to your head. Audette Exel of the Adara Group couldn’t stress the importance of avoiding arrogance enough.
“Humility helps you know your limits and have an appreciation for the intentions, strengths and perspectives of others. The minute you start believing your own press image, you are seriously in trouble!” – Audette Exel, 2015
Care for Yourself
It may be starting to seem like there are a lot of rules you have to follow, and while it might seem that way, the good news is that one of the rules is about taking time off. Stay dedicated to yourself. There’s no business without you, and your self-care deserves as much attention as every other part of the business.
Melanie Gleeson of endota spa emphasises making your own health a key focus, especially if you have a business that focuses on the needs of others.
“Keep focus for yourself even when you’re busy creating a business that ‘deals’ in the provision of others; it’s really easy to forget what you need.” – Melanie Gleeson, 2016
Focusing on yourself means focusing on how you treat yourself. Vanya Cullen of Cullen Wines advises against letting that treatment be too harsh.
“Be gentle on yourself and take care of yourself. Physically, emotionally and spiritually.” – Vanya Cullen, 2015
Remember that your ideal business is going to be something that brings you joy. If you feel yourself starting to lose that joy, give yourself permission to take time away. Sonja Cameron of Cameron’s Nursery would recommend enjoyment and time off as vital business strategies.
“Enjoy every day in your life. Take a holiday every year to recharge.” – Sonja Cameron
Believe in Yourself
Once you have all the pieces in place: you know yourself, and you’re living authentically; you conduct yourself the way you want to conduct your business, and you care for yourself the way you would any other aspect of the business, the last step is to believe.
Your knowledge should be something that gives you that confidence, according to Jean Madden of Street Swags.
“If you know your business better than anyone else, back yourself.” – Jean Madden, 2015
Your voice is the business’ driving force and inspiration. Christine Kris Macauley of Robbo’s Harley Davidson would urge you not to forget it.
“Your opinion does matter.” – Christine Kris Macauley, 2014
It’s simple really. To grow your business, you’ll be asking your team and your clients to have confidence in you. As Tammy May of MyBudget sums up, you should be displaying that confidence too.
“If you don’t believe in yourself, how are you going to get others to believe in you?” – Tammy May, 2014
Be yourself, know yourself, conduct yourself, care for yourself and, most importantly, believe in yourself. These are the steps to perfecting the cornerstone of your business: YOU.
Keep an eye out for the next article, where we’ll go over the next strategy. Can you guess it? (Hint: it’s PEOPLE – everyone besides you!)
Reach More People, Clarify Your Message and Finally Feel More Focused and Ready for Growth in YOUR Business
This post was authored by Sophie Grosserode. Sophie completed a journalism internship with HerBusiness. She studies journalism and media at the University of Tennessee in the United States.