Young redheaded girl stopping to smell a rose

“There’s no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn’t tell you about it?” —Kin Hubbard


4 Key Elements of Personal and Business Success

I recently appeared in an episode of Success by Design, a local television show which helps small business owners find success in all aspects of their lives–personal, financial, and business. In the episode, I discuss how important it is to make time for connecting, as your business will not make the time for you. Appearing as a guest on the show was a truly rewarding experience. I learned that small business owners’ needs really are the same as everyone else’s, except that the added stress of knowing a paycheck depends on success can sometimes make profit take center stage over other aspects of life. The key to doing well is balance.

Business owners can feel overwhelmed with so much to do (including making a profit), and it may seem counter-intuitive to take time to smell the roses, but we work against ourselves if we do not connect with self, children, spouse or partner, family and friends, and community. Real connection is a vital ingredient in success of any kind. Life, including how we connect, is a constant balancing act, something we need to work at each day.

Below are 4 elements essential for business and personal success:

  1. Product and Passion: Remember to honor your voice–your special talent, idea, or service that led you to be a small business owner in the first place. You are in business because you feel you have something unique to offer, or a unique way of giving customers what they need. It’s important to remember this when the going gets tough; it helps keep things in perspective (see #5).
  1. Include Personal Needs: This means time for yourself–exercise, sleep, and spiritual or intellectual connection. Making personal needs a priority helps you to be even more present in your business. The world works through extended networks of connection and, in the long-term, clients will sense whether you are connected at multiple levels or not; you’ll know the difference too.
  1. Quality Time: Spend quality (versus quantity) time with spouse or partner, children, friends, family, and community every day. This time spills over into business life and will lend you the deep-down sense that you can fully focus on your business when you need to. Instead of putting out fires, you can be present in your life.
  1. Work Smarter not Harder: Do what you need to do, not what you think you have to because someone else, who is not running your business, has told you or because of the latest business fad or success book (Even better, write your own book). There are simple and complicated ways of doing everything, from installing a sink to doing your taxes. Planning for future needs and contingencies will help you make the best solutions in the present.
  1. Smile: It can’t hurt, and it usually helps keep things in perspective (see #1). And do take time to smell the roses.

(In the video below I appear at minute 4:05)