Concentrate on finding and winning the right battles, rather than trying to win them all.
In business, you can never win every battle, but you must win the critical ones for your own longevity and the success of your business. Picking the right ones is more than half the battle. In my experience as a business advisor, I find that many people spend most of their time on the wrong problems, usually due to ego, daily pressures, or emotions. You must re-prioritize daily.
For example, I once had a business associate who loved to help his peers, which is a positive attribute, until he was unable to complete his own commitments on time, and his career was in jeopardy. As a business owner, I myself had to learn to depend on skilled partners, rather than jump in and try to solve every business challenge myself, from fund raising to social media.
Here is a summary of my recommendations for picking the right battles in a business environment, and how to fight challenges most effectively for satisfaction and growth:
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1. Set personal objectives and make your own decisions.
Listen to others and seek their input, but don’t allow them to make your decision for you. Follow your own interests and business insights to increase satisfaction and long-term success. Create a personal business plan, with milestones for your own tracking, and celebrate each step completed.
2. Help others who have the potential for helping you.
By helping others, you will learn from their mistakes, and greatly increase their interest of helping you back. Both of these results will increase your odds of success on your next decision and step forward. In addition, helping others will give you experience you need in other business domains.
3. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
None of us can be experts in all the disciplines required in any business. Build relationships with people who have complimentary skills, rather than “yes” people or just friends and family. You can then get better guidance, and learn more, in order to win on tough issues we all face in business.
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4. Become an active listener, and ask more questions.
You can’t learn anything while talking, so try to spend more your time listening and asking for input. Pick your battles carefully, since real analysis requires focus, and this is required for good decisions and positive outcomes. Be sure to watch body language of others carefully, for more input.
5. Budget your time carefully to work on the right problem.
Due to the daily pressures of business, I find that many professionals spend their time on the issue of the day, rather than issues important to their future. The result is no decision or bad planning leading to personal failure on priority issues. Time management is a major key to business success.
6. Don’t let procrastination leave you stuck and frustrated.
Tackle the challenges first that are most important to you, rather than trying to solve every problem or seeking to satisfy someone else. Drive that issue to a conclusion and make a decision. Any decision is better than no decision, and it will leave you with the satisfaction of moving forward.
7. Learn things from every setback, no matter how small.
Everything learned is a success and step forward, so keep a positive perspective. How well you handle uncertainties by climbing over your hurdles and standing back up after a fall is what will determine your ability to win in the long run. Pick battles that have value in that context.
8. Don’t let fear of failure lead you to compromise your values.
Use your passion for positive results and confidence in your abilities to overcome the natural fear of failure when approaching any new challenge. Use your support resources and access to coaching to solidify your mindset and personal values, and don’t back down prematurely.
9. Never assume a victim mentality in a business challenge.
There is no entitlement to success in business, so the only way to win is to take full responsibility for your actions and decisions. It’s easy to blame the economy or some other person for your challenge, but you must learn that there are always more positive alternatives that you can find.
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10. Look for innovative alternatives that have never been tried.
People who succeed in business recognize that everything is subject to change and innovation, and there are very few absolutes. Make it part of your satisfaction to find that unique solution no one else had yet seen or tried. You become the winner when you outwit your competition.
In my view, the business world is moving faster and faster, making the opportunities for your success even greater. Don’t let your own perseverance wane on any of the critical challenges and dreams you have now or will experience soon. We need your success to feed our own. Make every challenge a win-win.
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