Keeping up a high level of energy to wear all the hats required to create, grow and maintain a business can be exhausting! Whether that be a an online store, a bookshop or a consulting company, you have to wear so many hats that sometimes you worry that one of them will blow off in the wind! At Set That, one minute I am CFO, the next I am the Marketing Director, and tomorrow I might be the PR rep. But at all times I’m a new entrepreneur. Sometimes I feel like a conductor of an orchestra making wonderful music; other times I feel like a person protecting their home from bushfire, putting out spot fires all around. But most of the time, I am like an explorer in the jungle, aware of the potential dangers but excited to be there and learning new things all the time which lead me to keep stepping forward into the next exciting phase.
This week, I have stepped back from the business to give myself time to reflect on it without the day to day operations dragging my attention into the detail. Along with the vision, values, goals and behaviours, I have been thinking about the personal attributes that are necessary to stay the distance to build a successful business for the long-term and thought I would share some of them with you in this post. For those of you thinking about starting a business, this might be useful for you to see if you have what it takes to last the distance.
Optimism and Perseverance
The first one is Optimism. Without a positive mindset each day and the optimism that you are going to succeed in your business, every day could just turn into a hard slog. Your attitude is the thing that people working with you will see, and your optimism will be infectious to the team. This optimism needs to be coupled with Perseverance. When you get knockbacks, you need to be able to see them as only minor setbacks and just keep moving forward starting each day with specific short and long-term goals in mind and tick off the tasks towards those goals.
Agile with a Lack of Fear
You need to be Agile to move forward on opportunities as they present themselves. These opportunities might be revealed through analysing the data that your business presents you with, or it might be the offer of a friend to give you four weeks of their time to help. Being agile needs to be coupled with a lack of fear. If you focus on all the things that could go wrong if you took up an opportunity, you will miss out on so many more things that might propel you forward much more quickly than you could have ever imagined.
Promotion and Curiosity
You need to be willing to promote both yourself and your business. Not many people like to sell anything, much less promote themselves, however we all need to learn how to do that for a business to succeed. You need to be curious about everything so that when you come across something that you do not fully understand or don’t really enjoy doing, but seems to be important to your success, you delve into it to understand how it can positively impact your business and why you are resistant to it. Knowing these two things will help you work through your barriers and drive you towards your success.
And finally you need to show and express gratitude every day. To the people who are offering advice, or the person who helps you on the phone with some administrative issue, let’s make their day better by thanking them. Be thankful for your good health enabling you to be on this amazing roller-coaster ride, your focussed mindset towards your vision, and the support you receive from those around you. Express gratitude to whatever being you believe is guiding your life.
Know that you are supported, both physically and emotionally, by many people around you. Identify the attributes that those you admire have displayed to be successful in whatever is their passion. Then look within yourself to find and develop those same personal attributes that you will need to be successful. You will soon know if you have what it takes to successfully launch, grow and lead a new business, or if you are better suited to being a wonderful support to others in that leadership role. Whichever path you are guided to take, that path was chosen for a reason, and you will learn and grow as you travel on it. I know that I have learnt so much in these last few years since launching Set That and hope that I can continue to share those learnings with others.