For a year, I had amazing opportunities to meet business owners, marketing managers, sales people, business advisors and etc. from different trades, as a member of BNI Premier in the BNI network (Business Network International).
After a year of weekly 1-to-1 meetings with business owners of various trades, there are valuable lessons I wish to share with you.
Interacting with some of the fast-growing SME owners through BNI has been highly inspiring and created a newfound appreciation for what it takes to run a business – the personality, energy and competency.
Coming from a non-business and engineering corporate background, I started out with zero business experience. In 2017, I stepped out of my comfortable corporate job into an extremely fast-paced job in a coaching company. In 2018, I stepped out into a life of freedom, uncertainty and living with the bare minimum – in the life coaching, meditation and healing arena. The journey of entrepreneurship has been a journey that is full of learning.
Note: If you have a business or you’re aspiring to have a business, this could be helpful.
My observations of…
Sharing: What it takes to be successful in business:
1. Think Fast
All the successful business owners I’ve seen think and speak very fast. It is as if the wheels in their head is turning at 100km/h in multiple areas at once. They are very creative and have lots of ideas that easily spin into new ideas. Workable solutions are created one after another on the spot.
2. Be Willing to Learn
The successful business leaders I’ve met are very open to new ideas. They don’t shoot you down or say no to an idea and stop there. It’s almost always a “Yes, and…” if they have a different idea. They’re willing to try, learn and include new ideas and products. Even those that they are doubtful about. They quickly learn and adapt to new things in the market, and try out new views that are different from theirs.
3. Have a Can Do Attitude
When a question is asked, can we do this? The answer is almost always: Yes! You can do this, with xxxx and yyyy.
It’s like everything is possible, as long as you are willing to create and make it happen.
This is vastly different from the corporate world, where most answers I hear are “no, it’s too difficult” and “yes, but we need to go through xxxx procedures, perhaps it’s better not to do it”.
4. Build Networks
These successful business leaders often have a huge network. It’s an active network of people that they can trust and tap on for resources anytime you need it, from all walks of life. At all times, they are open to meet new people and talk to new people.
5. Provide Value (always)
In each conversation, they would listen and then position themselves as solution providers – providing ideas, experience and value to the other person. I learn about building relationships and being generous in providing assistance to others.
6. Be Realistic
The ideas and actions by the successful ones are also realistic and based on experience of what works and doesn’t work. There is also a high awareness and acceptance of the real outcome and consequences – whether it works or does not work. Instead of overthinking, ideas are quickly executed, tried and tested.
7. Be Versatile
Ideas are often quickly executed, assessed and changed as required. When things don’t work, there is little whining or crying about why it doesn’t work / blaming on whose fault is it. For instance, when teams don’t work out, we have a short meeting to understand what it didn’t work and move on, with no hard feelings. When things need to be changed, the issues are acknowledged and then move on to the next idea.
When a promise is made, it is delivered fast, on time and with good quality. This can be as simple as promising to send a file. Or linking you up with someone to follow up with. The speed of work by businesses that succeed is fast, reliable and accurate. For instance, when we organized events together, event logistics were purchased in the blink of an eye – way faster than going through multiple layers of approvals or discussions.
I have had the privilege of being with a helpful BNI chapter that provided me a lot of learning on character-building, networking and business thinking.
I am grateful for the inspiration and motivation from these amazing friends and business contacts in my chapter – BNI Premier.
Personal note: The learnings from my interactions helped me during key moments to get out of difficult situations. More to be shared in the future!