Mark Twain once said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.’
It’s true. Have you ever noticed that people who are successful have friends and work with others who are successful?
Take Chicken Soup for the Soul author Mark Victor Hansen.
As the story goes, Mark Victor Hansen was lamenting to Tony Robbins about his less than desirable level of success. “I don’t understand it,” said Hansen. “I just can’t seem to get from where I am to where I want to be.”
“Well, who are the people around you?” asked Robbins.
“The thing is,” replied Hansen. “I’m hanging out with millionaires.”
“That’s the problem,” declared Robbins. “You need to start hanging out with billionaires.”
Mark Victor Hansen took Tony Robbins’ advice, and the rest is history.
Surround yourself with the best and your efforts will more naturally and more surely lead toward excellence. By doing so, you will begin to achieve success faster, easier and with greater predictability than you could by yourself.
What can you do to begin surrounding yourself with success? Here are my top six must-haves for your business:
1. A Visionary Thinker Combined with an Detailed-Oriented Operations Manager
I happen to be extremely visionary with exceptional out-of-the-box ideas. People who work with me call me an idea factory. So what’s the problem? Having a visionary around is essential to growing a business, right? Well, I often have so many ideas, I can’t keep on-track!
That’s where my business partner, Sheryl, steps in. I realized it’s just as essential to balance my creativity with someone whose a detail-oriented operations person, so that all my ideas are realized.
Let’s face it. We can’t be good at everything. You should form a success team with a person who balances you out. If you are not interested in establishing a formal business partnership, then find your opposite and meet weekly to trade your wares. Your business will benefit!
2. A Financial Guru
If you are good at finances and like to take care of them, using a program like Quickbooks can get you the information you desire. However, when it comes to tax time, I don’t recommend going about the task unless you are a CPA yourself.
CPAs are no longer just number crunchers and tax preparers, they are business and financial strategists who help chart the paths of businesses and individuals. Businesses are tapping CPAs to not only manage finances and taxes, but also to determine profitable new product lines, help diversify investments, and provide a variety of other consulting and business services.
If you are like most business owners, you have knowledge and drive and a strong affinity for your industry; you know your product inside and out and enjoy promoting it. But a business is in existence to make money, and every business requires money to keep it alive. Keeping track of the money that you are earning, spending and saving is crucial to your success. Do you have as much knowledge and drive and affinity for financial recordkeeping as you do for your company? Many people don’t, and for them the nominal cost of having a professional take care of their all-important financial needs is well worth it.
3. A Coach
Top performers in all fields use personal coaches to help them create outstanding results and to develop their full potential as human beings. Your coach is your personal consultant – a personal trainer for your spirit and soul.
A professional coach helps you envision, clarify, create, and sustain the results that matter most to you. Perhaps the most important thing your coach does do is to hold you accountable for creating the results you say you want to create. And people do create results!
I have several coaches myself: a business coach, a life coach and a book coach. Coaching is a relationship that has challenged me to tap into and bring out the best of myself. I can not emphasize enough the positive effect that my coaches have had on my life and my business
4. A Virtual Assistant
I never understood how someone billing 200.00 or 100.00 per hour could say they can’t afford an assistant. They can’t afford not to! Not only does it free up their mental energy to do what they love, it frees them up to concentrate on activities that are billable or sales related.
Having a virtual assistant (or VA) is fast becoming a need for the busy entrepreneur, small business owner and person on the run. With the advent of new technologies and ways of doing business, the VA has stepped up to help you along your way.
Virtual Assistants work remotely and often can hook into your computer to make you more organized and efficient. They run upwards of 30.00 per hour and, believe me, are invaluable!
5. A Computer Doctor
Computers are great when they work. But when they don’t, they can bring your business to its knees, causing you to lose time and money, miss business opportunities, and your customers to lose confidence in your service.
And even when they seem to be working, computers can have hidden problems that can slow your efficiency, cause errors, and sow the seeds of trouble.
Don’t wait until you have a major technology meltdown to try to find someone who can come to the rescue! As unlikely as it may seem, there are people who actually enjoy fixing our computer equipment and who can solve issues in a matter of minutes that would have you pulling out your hair or on the verge of tears.
6. A Marketing Professional
Nearly 90% of business owners and managers have little or no professional experience in sales or marketing. Yet, their businesses and often livelihood depend on their marketing effectiveness. For the same reason that people hire an auto mechanic, an accountant, counselor and others, hiring a marketing consultant provides expert guidance and support in needed areas. When talking about the success of your business, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Even talented marketers like me need to have someone who can help them objectively market their business. Entrepreneurs should be spending about 60% of the time marketing and we can’t afford to be off-message or be the same as everyone else’s.
Find a professional resource that can help you with web design, brand identity and collateral development.
At this point many of my clients say, “I can’t afford this!’
You can’t afford not to. Doing everything yourself isn’t free. If you spent all your time doing all of the tasks above, when would you pitch new business or service your existing accounts? And what if you make a mistake on your finances? Choose the wrong marketing technique? Or your computer crashed and lost all your documents? What is that going to cost you?
Successful people are goal-oriented. They aren’t afraid to work with people who are smarter, harder working or more ambitious than they are.
Hire an expert and stick to what you are best at. The financial returns will come.
Copyright (c) 2006 UpLevel Strategies