We all know the story of the Three Little Pigs. The first built a house of sticks, the second a house of straw, and the third a house of bricks. Neither the first house nor the second could withstand the attack of the Big Bad Wolf. But the third, the powerfully built home held through whatever tempest railed against it, and everyone inside thrived. Like houses, businesses will stay healthy or cave in to outside pressures based on the strength of their core building blocks. With a large group of successful small business owners making up the foundation of Smart Circle’s success, we have determined the five business building blocks to help build a strong foundation.
Business Building Block One: Every successful business owner has a strong team behind them
We know all about the headline-grabbing superstar success stories. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk are all visionaries who changed the world in their wake. But none of them – created success on their own. They built a strong team of people who, working toward a common goal, collaboratively or individually, turn a single vision of possibility into a shared accomplishment.
With science to back it up, the article, The Importance of Teamwork, from Atlassian expounds, “A growing body of research confirms that when people work together, it can unleash energy that boosts creativity, productivity, engagement, communication, and efficiency.
As people work together, discussing ideas and possibilities, each team member grows as an individual. At the same time, all those diverse perspectives lead to unexpected, creative innovations and, ultimately – a successful team.
With a team behind them, people are willing to take more risks because they understand a whole group of people in their circle who will back them up, cheer them on and help them back up if they fall.
The team’s security keeps burnout at bay and makes for individuals that are happier than if they had been working on their own.
Business Building Block Two: A strong leader creates a vision for everyone to follow
There are all kinds of different leaders and leadership styles, but generally, people follow their leader because they’re inspired and motivated by them
The best leaders challenge people on their team to grow and give them opportunities to do so. Rather than talking at their team members, they connect with each individual personally. They make a point of getting to know what makes each person in their circle tick – their strengths and weaknesses. Then strong leaders allow their people to build those strengths and improve on the weaknesses, creating a team of people who have reasons to feel good about themselves.
Businesses that succeed are led by people who understand the importance of open lines of communication. That if they want their team to hear them, they need to be adept listeners themselves. They set clear goals and expectations for employees and provide regular feedback, including criticism and praise, so everyone knows where they stand.
Business Building Block Three: The invaluable resource of experience
At Smart Circle, every business owner encounters the same challenges, obstacles, and triumphs as countless individuals who came before them. Because the path to success is such a well-trodden one, our organization is overflowing with individuals who can and choose to act as mentors to people taking those steps for the first time. These mentors work as a support system for the next generation of business owners by making themselves available with advice, insight, and encouragement.
Business Building Block Four: Creating a network of success
Beyond the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship, Regional and National Consultants provide leaders from our sales network numerous opportunities to interact face-to-face at events. These meetings are an opportunity to exchange contact information, learn from their peers, or even travel to observe other businesses firsthand to see alternative work styles and procedures in action.
Successful networkers understand that the most robust connections are about what they give as they learn. They realize if they can benefit the person they’re networking with, then the experience can be doubly successful.
Business Building Block Five: The drive to keep pushing despite setbacks and difficulties
Everybody says they want to succeed. If everyone were as determined to make a success of themselves and their endeavors as they say they are, success would be as commonplace as dandelions in a field.
The drive is the determination to keep pushing, learning, evolving, failing, and succeeding. As T.S. Eliot says, “Only those who risk going too far can find out how far one can go.”
As explained in the article The Importance of Setting Ambitious Goals from Medium, “There is a linear relationship between the degree of goal difficulty and performance…Specific, difficult goals lead to higher performance than no goals as well as vague, abstract goals such as do your best.”
As you set your goals, remember to:
- Set the bar high – To be inspiring, a goal should be outside of your comfort zone. Attainable, but not easily.
- Have a plan – without a plan; a goal is nothing more than a wish. Make your goals tangible by writing them out and reviewing them consistently.
- Create short-term milestones – the long stretch to a long-term goal can be exhausting and demotivating. Achieving short-term goals in the interim gives you reasons to celebrate and feel suitable for success through the journey.
- Keep learning – as you work toward your goals, you will inevitably realize gaps in your knowledge and experience. Don’t just push ahead blindly and hope everything will work out for the best. Fill those gaps. Take courses, network with people who can help, inspire yourself with newfound knowledge, and you’ll stay inspired.
With a strong foundation, no storm can knock you down
Teamwork, leadership, mentorship, networking, and drive. These are the five foundational blocks that every business owner in the Smart Circle network uses to build their small businesses.
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