Focus, With Help, on Execution, Business Owner!

Turning 40–or any number after 20 and ending in “0”–causes the birthday person to pause and ponder lessons learned up to that point in life. The founder of Contentrix, Alice Seba, shared her list of personal observations (below). Several of them caught my attention for tonight’s blog post.

When Seba makes the point (#2) that entrepreneurs should not try to go it alone, I should a hearty “amen!” The attempt to be a master of everything rather than using outsiders, additional insiders, or advisors/mentors who are a little of both is a huge mistake. Similarly, the isolation exemplified by avoiding friendly relationships with competitors usually is a bad move. Instead, follow the advice to get to know them (#7 & #8) and enjoy the benefits of vicarious growth.

#1.  Working a lot doesn’t necessarily mean working hard…nor does it imply working smart

#2. There is no point in doing things solo

#3. Focus on your talents and your passions, but be realistic

#4. Don’t compare yourself to others

#5. Define success in your own way

#6. You can’t please everyone, nor should you try

#7. Embrace your would be competitors

#8. Making friends in your niche is one of the biggest accelerator to your success

#9. Don’t be a social butterfly

#10. Content has always been what sets long term successful businesses apart from others

#11. Content is one of the simplest, least expensive and most effective ways to generate leads and sales for your business

#12. If you’re not actively building and nurturing your mailing list, you’re stunting your business growth big time

#13. Existing customers are the key to getting more sales

#14. Staying the course will help you get to success much faster

#15. Posting your blog is rarely the most critical activity for a business

#16. SEO was easy in 2002 – It’s like chasing rainbows in 2012

#17. If your children say they need you while you’re on the computer, go to them

#18. If you are just starting out and reek of desperation, scammers will sniff you out a mile away

#19. There comes a point when you have to stop educating yourself and you just have to start doing

#20. I no longer believe in continuously investing in my education to improve my business

#21. It’s okay that a lot of people don’t understand what I do

#22. Technology is my friend, but I don’t mess around with it more than I have to or am capable of

#23. Customer service is a critical part of your business, but it’s a productivity inhibitor

#24. Other people’s blogs can be useful

#25. Nothing on the Internet is private

#26. If you don’t own the site you’re publishing too, you really don’t own that content

#27. Working in batches is great for productivity

#28. I used to think religion and business don’t mix

#29. There is no one quite like you, but you are dispensable…or at least you should be

#30. Tools and Software don’t grow your business, you do

#31. You don’t have to explore everything to diversify

#32. Listen to your audience…they can teach you a ton

#33. There is no shame in selling

#34. If you’re not confident, they’ll know

#35. Knowing the words to use is also important

#36. It’s okay to take a break when you just aren’t into it

#37. To do lists are always meant to be shortened

#38. Use your freedom to do good things

#39. Appreciate and be thankful for what you have

#40. Take care of yourself

The second key theme from the list is the power of focus. Whether choosing to focus on a few strategic relationships (#9), or valuing customers individually (#13), you will find that constantly seeking newness rather than depth will be a distraction that makes success harder to come by. 

Three’s the charm for tonight. In addition to the other two themes, I find it important to mention that there comes a time to just work your business. I am a firm believer in seeking wise counsel and insight but not, as indicated in #20, to the exclusion of executing priorities today.

We’ll attempt to highlight items from the second part of the list tomorrow night!

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