Young Upstarts

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10 Tips For Achieving Success As An Entrepreneur

by Anthony Amos, founder of HydroDog and author of “How to Catch a Shark

key-to-success

The first steps of the path to becoming an entrepreneur might seem bewildering and intimidating for many people. Before you gain experience and you feel steady and sure on your feet, there is a period of time when you pay your dues and learn a few things the hard way. This is the time that you learn what you’re really made of and how tough you are. If you have the right mindset and attitude, you can take all of those lessons and come out of it extremely strong and ready for anything.

Many people come away from this feeling that the only way to get ahead is to be cut-throat and be the one with the fangs sunk farthest into the throat in a dog-eat-dog world. Ultimately, this is a terrible business strategy. This approach may have worked for a few, but you probably have as much chance at success this way as you do becoming the next NBA MVP.

Take it from me: it’s better to give a dog a bath and wash off the fleas than it is to try and growl and bite your way to the top. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

The nice guy finishes first!

It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. If you are conceited or arrogant, you will turn off many potential clients and send them running into the arms of your competitors. If you give respect to everyone, you will reap the dividends.

Turn “me” into “we”.

Don’t think of business like a Viking raid, pillaging and taking all you can get. Think of what you can give. Add value to your products and services and you will gain the loyalty of customers and colleagues. You will be sought out over others who aren’t providing what you do. In the age of collaboration, you have to be looking at the bigger picture.

Be creative.

When you’re thinking about a business, try to come up with a way to stand out. Don’t be just another face in the crowd. Do something different that has its own unique flavor and appeal.

Be authentic.

When dealing with others, always be your true authentic self. While it’s great to be able to deal with difficult people, don’t try to schmoose or mislead them with sugar-coated pitches and false promises. When people know they can take you at your word, they will feel much more comfortable doing business with you.

Be consistent in the manner in which you deal with people.

Don’t be the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde of business. When you have customers, suppliers, or others that you deal with on a regular basis, they want to know that they can count on you and have things run as smoothly and as automatically as possible. You may be easy as a Sunday morning on Tuesday through Friday, but if you are nothing but hassles on Monday, your customers may just start looking to take their business elsewhere.

Long term relationships are what build businesses.

It’s always great to pick up a new client or take advantage of a short-term deal that a new distributor can cut for you, but there are a lot of benefits that come from long term relationships. When you’ve been a solid and steady person to do business with, you’ll often be the first one that gets the new contract and you’ll have an established network to go to when you need favors.

Know your pitch.

Be prepared and have your pitch ready for any opportunity that presents itself. Be able to adapt it to any audience. Get to where you can list your strongest points and assets right off the top of your head. Remember that people invest in people.

Don’t burn bridges.

Even if you think that you can no longer do business with a particular individual or company, don’t burn that bridge. You never know what the future holds and how things may change. You may find a future ally in the very person who you thought had nothing left to offer.

Make sure you are congruent with potential partners.

Having a new business partner can be exciting, and maybe even a lifesaver, but it’s important to make sure that you are on the same page with them in terms of how the business will be run. It’s better to turn a deal away if it’s not going to work, than to find yourself stuck with someone who has completely incompatible ideas about the direction you’re going, who’s in control, how money is spent, etc.

Success is more than just money.

This may sound counter-intuitive when talking about business, but think about the social ramifications and your own quality of life. Your business should be a labor of love and it will definitely be a lot of work, but be sure to take the high road and don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with for a quick buck. If the labor of love turns into a Scrooge-esque cold-hearted quest for money over everything, you will find yourself lost and miserable.

Being an entrepreneur can be the most exciting, difficult, and rewarding experience you ever. If you do business ethically and honorably you will gain a foothold in the business community and you’ll have many contacts and resources to help you grow.

 

Anthony Amos

Anthony Amos is author of “How to Catch a Shark“, which is based on the real-life story of how he came to America from Australia knowing nobody, and caught Kevin Harrington from the hit TV show ‘Shark Tank’ as his business partner, without ever appearing on the show. He is the founder of HydroDog, one of Australia’s most successful franchises which just launched in America. 

 

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