Grow as an entrepreneur along with your business

7 min read

This story appears in the March 2020 issue of Mexico . Subscribe »

Growth comes in many shapes and sizes. For you it could mean adding more developers, increasing revenue by reviewing your sales process, or increasing your interpersonal skills through emotional intelligence training. But there is no need to choose between business and personal growth . It is possible to combine these two objectives in a strategic plan. The following four actions can help you progress in both directions.

Get rid of loads

Grow as an entrepreneur along with your business
Grow as an entrepreneur along with your business

With entrepreneurs like Grant Cardone, who claim they need to work 14 hours a day to earn a million dollars, the balance between work and personal life may seem like an impossible dream. Although overwork can help your business in the short term, it will not benefit you – or your company – in the long term. Taking care of too much can lead to exhaustion, health problems, and equipment dysfunction.

One of the best ways to lighten your load and strengthen your business is to delegate tasks. The OnPay payroll platform found that almost half of small business owners and managers perform their own accounting and finance duties. Every minute you spend counting beans is time you don't spend on a leader's own priorities; to focus, for example, on product innovation, or on personal goals, such as health care.

Organizational improvement

Not all progress can be measured in minutes, money or number of faces. Growing a business also means making it a better place to work. Although the culture of your business is unique, its cultural objective is not; In other words, you must ensure that your work environment encourages all team members to prosper, both personally and professionally.

Start with commitment. According to Gallup , seven out of 10 American and Canadian employees are not engaged at work. Instead of asking your teammates if they are engaged – a question they may not feel comfortable with and not answer honestly – ask them how you can make them feel more excited about going to work.

Approaching their culture in the area of ​​individual preferences helps you understand what motivates each person. That not only makes you a better leader, but it will also give workers a sense of ownership within your business. Rich and inclusive cultures are built around individual collaborators, not business leaders.

Keep in mind that when people are engaged, work feels lighter in every way. As a result, stress levels decrease and people feel stronger and able to try harder. Simply put, when team members experience decreased stress and increased energy levels, your company's productivity increases.

That makes sense. Things that give us intrinsic rewards (like feeling better or happier at work) tend to keep us more deeply motivated. In the workplace, this translates to better production and higher profits.

Related: Minimize the financial impact of crises with effective negotiations

Beyond your specialty

When an entrepreneur breaks into an industry it is because he or she combines business and industry-specific ideas in a new way. However, only 9% of small business owners have a bachelor's degree in business, that is, they have tools for monitoring employee productivity, and only 3% have a master's degree or doctoral degree.

If you are a technology professional, avoid spending so much time building your software development skills and don't fall behind on more general ones, such as those related to sales or marketing. Even if you are a doctor who outsources everything you need in your practice, you still have a team to manage.

Fortunately, refreshing your knowledge of business skills does not require formal education. Take time at the beginning or end of each business day to read some relevant guides, which you could find in books. You can also ask a member of your team to show you the way. If you need a class, take one for free online or enroll in a Mooc (Massive Open Online Courses). Join a group of experts or network to learn from the experiences of others and gain new perspectives.

The benefits of mentoring

Innovation Growth Lab, a global consortium of entrepreneurs, says small business owners can raise short-term profits 20% on average by working with an experienced mentor. By helping you spot and shore up your own “unknown unknowns,” mentoring will power your business.

How to choose the right mentor? Find someone as different from you as possible. Although it may be uncomfortable, growing your business is a matter of gaining new perspectives. Another alternative is to consider different scenarios; For example, if you are a man with experience in digital marketing, ask yourself how a woman, in the same area as you but in a country different from yours, grows her business? Now imagine that you can get in touch with that person and take advantage of their experience.

What makes a person a good mentor? Ideally it is the one that has already achieved what you seek to achieve. It must also be someone you like to go for a coffee and who you trust, because at some point in life you will ask him complicated questions, so it must be someone who knows how he can make constructive criticism and help you.

Just as important is becoming a mentor to someone else at some point. This maximizes the benefits for your business because you take an employee under your protection. Mentoring will increase your skills and benefits for your business.

Where to start? It only takes 10 minutes a day to improve your network. Evaluate the people you know: LinkedIn contacts, phone, Facebook friends, former bosses, Twitter accounts. If not, it begins to form new connections through local associations or chambers of commerce. Identify public speakers on the topic you are interested in when you go to events and introduce yourself.

Remember that great entrepreneurs are maximalists. Why not choose a resolution that improves you and your company? Stick to that and see how much you can grow during 2020.

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