In the business world, it is very easy to get comfortable with just being good. Being good at what you do means all is well, things are moving the way they are supposed to, and everything is under control. The financial equivalent of treading water however does not equate to success, but stagnation. In nature, as in business, it is always better to be proactive then reactive when striving for business excellence.
By focusing on constantly pushing yourself and your business to be in a constant state of growth, both yourself and the company you lead will be constantly evolving and improving ahead of your competitors.
Here are some thoughts to keep in mind throughout the endless challenge of improving yourself and your business as you strive for business excellence:
1) Find Mentors
It is always important to have an outside opinion. It is even better when that person is someone you admire, respect, and trust. By having a mentor, whether it be your superior at work, or someone in an unrelated field who you can bounce great ideas off of, a mentor is an experienced advisor who has your best interests at heart when they offer their advice, opinion and guidance. A mentor figure of this nature is invaluable and can give you praise when due but should always push you for more and hold you accountable for the goals even more than you do yourself. Having a mentor that you would hate to disappoint and who you hold in high esteem is a powerful motivation. That motivation can translate into forward momentum, and both personal and professional growth. Examples of mentorship can be seen across many industries and success stories and is significant for any growing business. For example, one of the organizations Powerlinx is working with, Techstars, has a dedicated network of mentors to provide guidance for all founders within their program.
2) Realize that there is Always Room for Improvement
Google is famed for saying “We are Always in Beta.” Business Insider has also said “Always Be in Beta or You’ll Never Learn Anything New.” It is very easy to say “I’m good” and leave it at that. The article mentions the value of learning which keeps stagnation at bay. Also, “in the early stages of learning a new subject, people feel as though they have nothing to lose, which makes them more likely to accept failure as part of the process.” This mentality will enable you, as a business owner to add more power and range to your skill set, as well as become more comfortable with the risk that comes with learning curves. If in the back of your mind you always believe there is room for improvement then you will be much more open to change and adaptation to improve your business in an ever evolving and competitive landscape when aiming for business excellence.
3) (Don’t) Compare Yourself to Others
If you are going to compare yourself to others, make sure they are the people that you aspire to be. Same goes for your business, compare yourself to the leaders in your fields and your strongest competitors when striving for business excellence. It is very easy to look around at other people in your circle and point out flaws and pat yourself on the back for your performance. The game changes when you are competing with people and businesses that are more advanced, experienced, and have greater resources and should be the benchmarks against which you measure performance. This pushes you and your business to new heights and you become competition for people ahead of you. In an article by Fastcompany, the founder of a New York based coaching services company stated that “It’s important to not compare your work-in-progress to others who are farther along in their journey….and that you need to set goals and use others to inspire you.”
4) Don’t Get Too Comfortable
Ignorance is bliss and also dangerous. Getting comfortable is just that in the business world. While you sitting back being comfortable, others are advancing, strategizing and closing in on any distance you have put between yourself and your competition. Strive to stay relevant and vigilant, and remember that success is not a destination, but a goal that constantly evolves and manifests with the company’s growth itself. Think of your business as an athlete, there is no such thing as a comfortable and effective workout. In an article by Inc., Why Leaders Should Never Get Comfortable , the importance of adaptation and working with inevitable change is the main reason why so many companies have succeeded and while so many others were toppled by their competitors as they were not only not proactive, but they reacted far too slowly.
5) Accept & Act on Challenges when Striving for Business Excellence
Take every challenge as an opportunity to exceed expectations when striving for business excellence. Take every rejection as a learning experience and a challenge. Rise to meet every challenge that is in your best interest and continue to push yourself and your business to excel. Promoting this mentality as a business owner as a common character trait in your company’s culture will push the boundaries and capabilities of your company and your team and demonstrate what you can truly accomplish. However acting on challenges is even more important. When aiming for business excellence, planning, strategizing, and speculation is necessary however at some point, action must be taken. This is something I see every day as the favorite quotes of our very own CEO is “Do, Do, Do, Do” and “Thank you, now go back to work”. It is easy to hover around a challenge or save it for another day. Take it on. Do!