Do you believe in your business?
I ask this because I think it is the most important element determining your success. Do you believe in your business? Do you believe it will succeed? That it will supply a needed product or service to the marketplace? Do you believe it will support you financially (even if it won’t at first)?
When you believe in your business
If you think this is a silly question, that it’s obvious that every business owner must believe in his or her business, then you are lucky! Steer clear of business owners who hold expectations that others owe them.
When you believe in your business, you will nurture it and guide it like it’s your child. You will pay attention to its growth and get some help when it isn’t meeting the prescribed milestones. Think about a successful business that you know. Likely the owner is passionate about its success and cares very much that it survives and thrives. This applies to founders of nonprofit organizations too—the business model is beside the point.
The owner who believes does not hesitate to invest their time, effort, and money to give buoyancy to their business. These owners take responsibility for their success or failure. They figure out why something isn’t working—where’s the disconnect? The misconception? The opportunity?—then they fix it. They are clear, intentional, and deliberate. Believers ask for help from experts and then they listen and follow the advice with an objective detachment. Successful businesspeople are open for business, literally.
Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
– Theodore Roosevelt
When you don’t believe in your business
I’ve encountered and even worked with people who flat out don’t believe in their businesses. I didn’t realize this fact when I agreed to work with or for them, but after 25 years as a consultant I can identify the very clear red flags. Their attitude is “never enough,” and they treat everyone like that. They say things like, “If only you would have/could have [fill in the blank].” They complain about customers, they complain about the vendors, they complain about their foiled efforts. One bad review and they explode with reasons that the criticism is not warranted! It’s self-centered and it comes across as rigid and closed off. It’s not attractive and the customers repel them instead of coming to them.
They search for a magic spell to cast on their business and make it all better. They’ll call on experts but then refute every suggestion.
“I tried that,” they say.
“Try it again with a better attitude,” I say.
Venting vs. Brainstorming
Are there times when you just need to vent? Of course! Opening the pressure valve does not mean you don’t believe in your business. We all have bad days, bad meetings, disappointing setbacks, and surprise crises. If your venting is more like Mount Vesuvius erupting and you don’t take time to analyze what went wrong, then you likely have a belief problem.
Successful businesses do not stay mired in the negativity, they rebound. Successful businesspeople release pessimism like an exhale, then they brainstorm to find a solution. They take a lesson from the Prayer of Serenity wisely accepting what they cannot change and courageously changing what they can for a better result. They move forward.
Check Your Beliefs
Constantly monitor yourself. As you grow and mature, your beliefs will change and your business (or business interests) will follow.
If you want to be successful, it’s just as simple as this quote from Will Rogers:
“Know what you are doing.
Love what you are doing.
And believe in what you are doing.”
Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit her website today to see how she can help you. See how easy your efforts can be here.