There is a lot of advice for succeeding in business and if you tried to follow all of it chances are you would run yourself into the ground. Although there is no single tried and tested formula for succeeding in business, or marketing, or anything else, there are a few threads of common sense which will probably help you get further down the track.
Here are five of the best suggestions I’ve come across which can be applied to businesses across a broad range of categories and industries.
1. Avoid toxic people and toxic clients. Although this may be counter-intuitive, especially if you are working under the assumption that all work is good, reducing your exposure to people who sap your energy and drain you can only be a good thing for your long term success and stamina.
2. Try to work with clients you actually like. This is not only a lot more enjoyable than suffering through an awkward relationship with a client you just can’t stand, it can also increase the quality of your work. It stands to reason that you are going to work harder for someone you like and who inspires you than for someone who makes your stomach clench when you see their name in your inbox.
3. Don’t sacrifice creativity and innovation for professionalism. The business world is moving at an alarming pace these days and businesses that want to succeed need to be unafraid of taking a few risks and stepping out of their comfort zone. Although professionalism is important, working within a strict code of behaviour and thinking can also be stifling. Know what you can and can’t compromise on and where you can push the boundaries a little bit.
4. Allow yourself to question your beliefs. Contrary to popular opinion, self-doubt isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness. In many cases it can be an indication that you are open to new ideas and able to question long held beliefs and challenge them. Don’t mistake certainty for confidence. Unshakeable certainty is often founded in deep insecurity where true confidence means not being afraid to question yourself and compromise for the greater good.
5. Be honest. Telling the truth to your clients, customers and the general public is essential no matter what industry you’re in. Even creative professionals like designers have to be careful not to misrepresent anything or mislead their audience. Once you lose the trust of your audience it is extremely difficult to regain, not to mention the legal implications and costs that could potentially follow.
Staying ahead in business takes constant revision and refinement of your strategy and position in the market. It can often be a fine line between sticking to your core beliefs and philosophies and not being afraid to innovate.
About the Author
Jo Macdermott is the Chief Marketing Consultant at Next Marketing in Melbourne. She has 15 years of marketing experience, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a sought after marketing media commentator. Jo specialises in working with small and medium businesses. Follow her on Twitter here.