If you want to make it big in business, you better be tough. The statistics aren’t promising. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, seven out of 10 new employer firms survive at least two years, half at least five years, a third at least 10 years, and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more.
Today’s marketplace is filled with great potential for an eager entrepreneur with a great idea, but that’s not enough. The challenges are many and often times much more difficult than previously estimated – with the small business owner having to wear a number of hats and be involved with everything from hiring, financing, client projects, payroll and so many other activities.
Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle faced by entrepreneurs has nothing to do with the business itself. The biggest obstacle is you. It is easy to become overwhelmed and not know what to do first. One bad outcome can bleed into the decision making process of something completely unrelated, and before you know it, an entire company can be thrown off track just like that.
Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or have been at it for a very long time, before you make any business decisions, follow these five steps to make sure you’re prepared for the challenges that come your way:
#1 – Make the leap. You’ll never hear someone on their deathbed saying, “I wish I played it safer.” Stop making excuses like “I’m not ready” or “Maybe in five years.” The difference between a dream and reality is taking action. Stop believing those made up excuses that justify where you are and make the leap. Take bold, massive action and commit. Never stop!
#2 – Stop thinking small. Big audacious dreams are endangered. They will disappear like the dinosaurs if we keep subscribing to the mainstream advice “to have a realistic goal.” We are even taught to have realistic achievable goals in business today. We are destined for mediocrity and losing our place as the land of opportunity if we continue to be “realistic.” To succeed big, you must Dream Big and then Act Big!
#3 – Good is the enemy of great. Much of corporate America has gone to the world of good enough. It’s now worse than status quo. Now it is about figuring out how to reduce product quality to save cost and minimize customer loss. As a small business owner, you have an extraordinary opportunity to stand out as a superstar and WOW your clients.
#4 – Control your environment. You become who you associate with. You must decontaminate your life from toxic sludge people. Unfriend them on Facebook and in-real-life, break the connection on LinkedIn and purge them from your life. To become better, smarter, richer, happier and more successful, you must be around people better than you. Find people who lift you up, challenge you and are your biggest cheerleaders.
#5 – Be confident and bold. Your parents probably taught you not to brag or showoff. They were trying to raise a polite child, and that was really bad advice. They ended up sabotaging your self-confidence. When you’re really great at what you do in business, you must be your biggest fan and be proud of yourself. Do you think Tiger Woods’ dad ever said to him, “Son, you know better than to show off? Let the other kids win.” It’s not cool to be arrogant, but it is necessary to be confident and bold.
Ultra-success comes to those who demand it and refuse to accept anything less. It’s a mindset. Never shrink yourself down to someone’s level because they refuse to rise up to yours. To make it big, you must take massive, unyielding and focused action. When you do, nothing or nobody can get in your way. The bottom line: It all starts with you.
Croix Sather is the founder of LIFExDESIGN.com success training programs. As a life and business expert, he speaks and teaches across the country. To exemplify his success strategies, Croix went from casual runner to a World Champion extreme ultra distance runner with a run across America and then setting a new World Record for running 146 miles through Death Valley without any assistance. All in under three years.