One question I think about more often than most is ‘Why aren’t more people successful’. Like Howard, (but without the science and definitely more of an opinion piece here), I put my thoughts to paper.
I’m a Chartered Accountant with a practice in Dublin 2 and have seen all sizes of companies, all types of individuals and watch as some flourish and others struggle (regardless of the business environment). Some businesses grew and flourished during the recession and others are still struggling at present.
People watching is as much a fascination for me at the airport as it is in business. In business though, if we can learn from great examples or benefit from the mistakes of others, then I believe in sharing this knowledge to benefit all.
When you step back or have an outside view, sometimes it’s easier to see what’s missing or what’s working so well for businesses. As an accountant, logic works for me. Numbers go in a definite place and you get to make strategic decisions based on those numbers to impact your business and in turn, your life.
Numbers help make effective decisions. Spending money on marketing your business without knowing what area is THE most profitable (broken out by source of income or type of client), can be wasted money. I like playing the odds (strategically if possible!). Use your numbers to make sure your risks are calculated and you know the downside before you play your hand.
Most successful business owners are high achievers, they can be perfectionists, they have a clear vision, they make the bold and brave decisions and can lead their team to where they need to go.
With all of these traits come some disadvantages. High achievers can push too hard. They can expect others to have the same traits as them and may falter with frustration when things don’t pan out as expected. Many are impatient. Many lose colleagues along the way. This is all part of the natural cycle as I have seen it, watching businesses over the years.
Does it have to be this way? No. Most definitely not. Watching from the outside, it’s clear to see when mentorship or coaching may benefit leaders. Managing your attributes, that will no doubt make you a wonderful leader, to ensure you manage the negative side of some traits, is key to success in your business.
Becoming self-aware through a coaching process is valuable for all leaders that may want to improve any aspect of themselves. We never stay the same. I believe we use it or lose it in most of what we do. No matter what you read or hear about ‘successful’ people or people who inspire you, they have a positive mindset, they are very self-aware and ‘manage’ themselves before considering managing anyone else!
You might want to ask yourself the following questions if you’re wondering why you aren’t as successful as you might want to be right now:
– What am I doing to improve myself daily?
– What is my goal and do I act on it daily?
– Do I talk the talk but not walk the walk?
– If a camera were on me 24/7, am I acting in a manner consistent with achieving my goals?
– Do I follow through or let myself wander off track each day?
– Do I have a set agenda for my business development and growth that I work on?
– What excuses do I tell myself for not having achieved my goals to date?
– Do I enjoy the success I have achieved to date?
– Can I make the tough decisions when needed in a timely manner?
– Am I clear on how to get to my goal?
As you will see, without knowing what success looks like to you, how can you possibly get there? Talking to someone who’s been there or has an independent opinion and can critically assess the postives and negatives with you, or will help you in making decisions, can help greatly.
Facing truths about your reasons for not being where you want to be right now can be tough. This isn’t pretty or for the faint-hearted. If you’re serious about getting on to the ‘success’ train and aren’t there yet, then something has to change.
You MUST do something new to achieve new results.
Wendy Merrigan is a Chartered Accountant that works with SME business owners and sole traders. Accounts, bookkeeping and tax matters. Advisory services focused on business and profit growth.
Wendy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0863090375