What is your number 1 tip for entrepreneurial success?

Before I share my tip, can I just reflect on the word ‘Success’.

Success can only be defined by you and should be defined, so that you know what you are aiming for and when to celebrate that you have achieved it.

For all my clients it means very different things. For one, it is about the recognition of their expertise amongst their peers. For another, it is to achieve a turnover of £1m with a net profit of £200k. For another, it is having a business that allows them to work just 3 days per week and spending more time with their disabled son, whilst the business is ran by others.

In terms of my number one tip, then I would have to say it is building the ability to say NO.

That may be to say NO and decline the invitation to do something that is in fact a distraction and not the most effective use of your time. Right from day one, if you don’t use your time effectively, then it will have huge implications and is often difficult to pull back from.

It may be not saying NO to the wrong customer, which again will impact you and your team. It’s revenue, so the temptation is always yes, but trust me it should not be.

Looking back do you regret taking on a customer or a situation, because you did not say no? An entrepreneur has the ability to know or sense what is not right and simply say no. If we do not, then how far on a journey do we go before we try to come back and if we go too far is there a perceived point of no return. For example, can you say no to prospects that do not fit your ideal customer profile? Can you say no to prospects that do not value your offering and are not prepared to pay your desired fee? Can you say no to those that show you no respect?

It may be saying NO to people. This can be difficult for many, as it involves the feelings of others, but has to be mastered.

Can you say no to the idea of a colleague? Can you so no to a job application that shows promise but is not right for you at that time?

How easy do you find it to say no?

This is not a natural instinct for many of us; hence entrepreneurs build the knowledge and ability to say no. But my studies indicate that if we cannot master this, then we will never build the business we desire as we will continually be taking three steps forward and too many back.

First we have to understand what we want and therefore what we do not want. Thereafter with systems and confidence we are more able to say no, or at least understand how we can learn from future communications, when the opportunity to say no next presents itself.

However perhaps it is more simple than this? For example, if we market our business in the right areas, focus on the ideal customer with the right messages and media choices, then it is more likely we will attract those we want to work with and therefore no longer have the feeling that arises of wishing you could, or should, say no.

I am sure you can think of many examples when it would have been better to say NO.

I have written an eBook: 21 Tips for Entrepreneurial Success, which covers a variety of thoughts. You can download this eBook via my webpage ‘Supporting the growth of your business’

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