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  • Christine Hourd

Small Business Owners must Focus on these 5 Life Skills for Long Term Business Growth

What is it that you really need for long term business growth? Many of my clients who are small business owners come to me with a similar dilemma, except they’re talking of short term, urgent business recovery!


This information can apply to both your short term recovery and long term business growth. This is because these five areas in your life can draw immediate results to turn customers into buyers, and to also build your business acumen for long term business development.


But don’t stop there! These are also life skills that will help you with everyday dilemmas, relationship goals, and decision making in your personal life too. After all, your personal and professional life are interconnected in so many ways.


To Achieve Long Term Business Growth Here are 5 Life Skills Small Business Owners need To Focus On


If you’re experiencing those anxiety loaded messages that have you searching for the one thing you’re missing to help your business prosper, then you’ve come to the right business blog.


Take any one of these five life skills and start to implement them today, and you’ll notice a difference in how you experience life. The thing is that you have to take action. This is why the first life skill to work on relates to courage.


1. Build up Your Courage to Achieve Your Goals


We often think that it’s confidence that we need, to work diligently on our business, but that only comes when we show proof that we can accomplish something. Courage is something that everyone has. The key is to regulate the thoughts of what others might think, or that you will fail, and allow your courage to come through so you can take the next step.


Not recognizing the courage you have is the biggest roadblock that many need to overcome to achieve their goals.


2. Two More Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills and Really Win Over Your Clients


You have probably heard that good listening skills involves waiting for the other person to finish talking before you reply, or listen twice as much as you talk, but this will take you deeper in understanding your client’s needs. These two more ways of improving your listening skills will also guarantee long term growth.


Understand the Meaning Behind the Person’s Message


We often take for granted the meaning of the words we use and don’t consider that the person we’re talking to might see it differently, or apply it differently to their life. Take for instance the word “cautious.” To you it might mean very little risk, but to the client it may mean taking it slowly. Two totally different meanings.


Failing to discover the true meaning behind someone’s message can end up in a lost sale, or loss of a long term client.


Really put Yourself in the Other Person’s Shoes


That saying, “put yourself in another’s shoes” has us basically putting on their shoes, although not shifting to their perspective. In order to really put yourself in the other person’s shoes, you need to put aside your beliefs, perspectives, point of view, habits, and the need to be right. This is something that is very challenging to do since your desire to feel important and influence the situation and is strong.


When you put aside all of those things that make you a great contributor to the conversation, and really discover what is being communicated, then you’ll also put aside the judgement and criticism that keeps you from helping your client, employee, or shareholders.


3. Have Self-Compassion when Faced with Failure


The biggest reason you need self-compassion is because more than likely there will be failure, setbacks and the urge to give up… because it’s too hard. Just like raising children or starting a relationship, there isn’t a manual that provides detailed instructions. Much of this "stuff" you need to figure out for yourself, and that means future opportunities for failure, but also for success.


Self-compassion comes in the form of giving yourself a break after an epic fail, so you can get back at it with a clear mind. It also comes from ridding the thoughts that you’re not understanding something, or it’s not working out, and then replacing that with: this is a great learning experience that will benefit me in the future.


4. Rely on Your Resources


I love the saying “stand on the shoulders of giants.” There is that need for some to be original, to rewrite the books, or recreate the wheel. But that is someone who has the belief that everything takes hard work.


Resources come in many forms. It may be a book on how to manage employees; it can also be analyzing a competitor and adapting some of their processes to your business. It can come in the form of a coach, other business owners, or a mentor. Never underestimate the value of the opportunities around you that can also be very good resources.


5. Nurture a Personal Support System


Working on a business takes up much of your time and that also means many sacrifices. We equate social time as something that takes away from working on our business, but it’s actually a benefit to a small business owner.


Making time for people who come from all walks of life and lifestyles, as long as they add to a positive environment, can be a great asset. Friends, family, past co-workers, or employers, can all help ground you to everyday life. These are people with Monday to Friday 9-5 jobs, stay at home moms and dads, people who have retired... but not business owners. When you can shift your attention from working on your business for just a few hours, this allows you to recharge, and then you’re able to open your mind to new ideas.


Running ideas by other small business owners may be useful, but may also only generate solutions and concepts that are tried and true for their business. When a business owner is stuck they need something more creative, and that you’ll get from a personal support system.


If you would like to explore any of these life skills more, I would suggest booking a 30 minute conversation that will help to improve your long term business growth.


Christine Hourd is a certified success and leadership coach in Calgary, Alberta. She works with small business owners, executives, and leaders to achieve their goal of living a more fulfilling life. Please find more information on accountability, success and leadership coaching on The Success Model Site.

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