Face adversity head on and drive your company towards success
I recently saw the movie JOY, where Jennifer Lawrence plays the role of real life Joy Mangano, a divorced, downtrodden mother who ultimately becomes the inventor of the Miracle Mop, a savvy entrepreneur and successful businesswoman. So much of her story really hit home for me. Joy was faced with so many setbacks including that she was (unknowingly) wildly overcharged for production fees by her manufacturer, who also nearly stole and fraudulently patented her design. She had issues trying to work with her family, and experienced many of those horrible moments we all know so well, where you think it’s just not going to work. But she was also determined, resilient and strategic. And brave — very, very brave — which, as you know from reading my book and blog, fortune smiles upon!
I too have had to face adversity, doubt, and tough realities in building my businesses and sometimes things just flat out did not go the way I planned. While there were times when I felt like crawling under the conference room couch and hiding, I did what any determined entrepreneur would do: picked myself up, brushed myself off and found another way forward.
1) The signs of success in business leaders isn’t what you think
So what makes some businesses keep progressing and others stagnate or shut down? It may not be what you think. “Research has shown that the surest indicator of success in business in not the leader’s business track record, the product, the cash on hand or the industry; it is the leader’s ability to set a goal and drive her team toward that goal.”
I love this quote, which I shared in my book Million Dollar Women, because it’s a reminder that you can start from anywhere and build a million-dollar business…if you have the big vision, the right team and the strategy to get there.
Determination: Overcoming obstacles and doubt so you can move forward
Creating your own business empire, like Joy did, begins with a fundamental belief that you can do it. She never let all the nay-sayers deter her from her dream. She also knew how to delegate! For many women, the idea that we need to do it all, know it all and ace it all is one of the biggest things holding us back. Your main job is to to be the driving force that leads your team (whether it’s just you, two of you or dozens of you) toward success. I like to call the CEO “the vision holder.” Meaning, no matter what challenges come your way, you hold the vision of where you are going to get as a company for the entire team. This means when you are up against failure, obstacles or setbacks, the key is to focus on your end goal and find another way. And delegate the rest, as much and as soon as you can!
2) Strategy: Setting goals
Entrepreneurs who find themselves always putting out fires or simply getting through each day by just dealing with what’s in front of them are not likely to go big. They are on what I call the “entrepreneur’s hamster wheel.” To take your business to the next level we have to make time to work on the business not just in the business, so you can figure out what you need to do to earn more revenue, stay competitive, and just possibly, raise capital.
If you find yourself just trying to get through each day, it’s time to find a mentor or coach or professional development opportunity to help you set goals and get out of your comfort zone.
3) Don’t set it and forget it
Setting goals is only the first step. Then it’s time to create an action plan and lead your team to achieving them.
If you’ve lined up your flying buttresses or have an accountability group (other entrepreneurs who also have professional goals that you can meet with, and hold each other accountable) make it a point to meet with them on a regular basis. Research has shown that those who work with others to reach their goals have a much higher chance of success. You can do this with your team, or with people outside your company.
Jump into that driver’s seat and head toward success
Now that you know what it takes to set goals and achieve them, you’re ready to take your business to new heights.
The last few weeks I have been teaching my first Million Dollar Women Masterclass where women are learning how to take their businesses big through learning best practices and shortcuts. We are more than half way through our 6-week course and my entrepreneurs are all fantastic — I know many of them will join the Million Dollar Women ranks soon, and there is great peer to peer learning happening too.
I hope you’ll consider joining me for an upcoming Masterclass or for my Fundraising Workshop in New York City. The next Fundraising Workshop is on April 6, 2016 and you can sign up to be notified when we launch the next Masterclass. In the meantime, check out JOY and feel your own joy that you too will have a great rags (or ramen noodles) to riches story to tell one day!