Entrepreneurs Who Embody These 9 Practices Will Gain Loyalty
If you want to create a successful business, set an example for others to follow. Establishing and maintaining the right kind of culture is essential in any venture.
My decades of experience as an entrepreneur have taught me that it doesn’t matter what kind of person you’re trying to get to work with you. If you conduct yourself in the right way, people will want to invest their time, energy and money into helping you. It always comes down to attitude.
Think about it: Problems are inevitable and so are deadlines. There will always be times when you don’t have as much time or money as you need. The bottom line is there will always be factors outside of your control. What can you control? How you conduct yourself and treat others.
If you want to become a leader, put these qualities into practice immediately. If you do, you’ll develop lifelong fans.
1. Be forward-thinking.
Something I've had to accept is that I'm never really able to fully clear my pile. It isn't realistic. Because even when we're entrepreneurs that work for ourselves, we depend on other people. If I had it my way, everyone would act as swiftly as I do. But I've learned that it's better to set people up for success. One of the best ways of doing that is by looking ahead.
When I say "be forward-thinking," I mean let people know what's required of them in advance so they can account for it. Always have next steps and deadlines. When in doubt, pick up the phone.
2. Be five minutes early.
Punctuality takes self-discipline and control. Frankly, it's a sign of the capacity to commit. I want that in a partner. Beyond that, it's respectful.
Make a habit out of showing up a few minutes early. What does a habit really mean? Every single time. People will notice. If you respect others’ time, they will respect yours. It’s that simple. Being punctual extends to getting back to people quickly. Who has time to waste? If you build being on time into your schedule, you'll be able to commit. Give yourself some cushion rather than careening through the day.
3. Be available.
Make it easy for people to reach you. It drives me nuts when I have to hunt someone down. I don’t get it -- don’t you want to grow your business? How are people going to get in touch with you about an awesome opportunity? For starters, you should list your telephone number beneath your email signature.
4. Be informed.
Study the history of your industry as well as what’s going on now. Never stop learning. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert. You’ll have an instinct for where the market is headed. As a result, you'll be better able to tailor your business in the right direction. In time, you'll become an advisor.
5. Be proactive.
It's the best way to stay ahead of your competition. Do you spot future problems on the horizon? Call attention to them. Don’t shy away. Others will start following your lead. As a result, it won’t always fall on you to spot the problems.
6. Be unstoppable.
Leaders turn obstacles into solutions. Reading Ryan Holiday's The Obstacle Is the Way completely changed the way I perceive challenges. Pick it up!
7. Be approachable.
If you put yourself out there and you’re willing to be vulnerable, others will respond in kind. They’ll keep it real with you. They’ll be willing to discuss their most vulnerable experiences. That kind of trust is invaluable. If you're willing to show it in person, even better. Never underestimate how much of an impact you can make when you give someone your full attention.
8. Be helpful.
Make time to help others succeed. You never know where they’re headed. What doesn’t require much of you might make a huge difference to them. Just this year, someone I extended a hand to told me I had changed his thinking. He's more willing to lend a hand to others now. When some great opportunities came his way, he shared them with me.
When someone asks for help, look at is an opportunity to grow your network of loyal partners. Someone once said, "When you reach the top, pull the next person up." I love that saying.
9. Be understanding.
Your ability and willingness to put yourself in others’ shoes will benefit you. Your negotiations will go much smoother because you'll be able to identify solutions that are actually that. As a result, you’ll move projects forward faster.
It may sound trite, but it isn’t. If you’re remarkable, people will want to support you. They'll appreciate you, and appreciative people give back.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor