Small business owners (like myself) are often challenged with proving themselves to others. This is especially relevant when dealing with bigger companies. Something about a big company they frequently like to throw their weight around and prove their value by how many dollars are in the bank, how big their market share, or how many employees they maintain. I find myself struggling at times with how to best respond to those questions and what I personally view as a ‘win’. Of course I’d be lying to say that I didn’t want a business to be sustainable, growing, and profitable. But sometimes I think it’s important to be more specific. Some of the time I like to define some other ways to always win.
I’d like to give you 5 ways you can win at anything. Pick whatever you want apply one or more of these 5 principles and you’ll find you are always guaranteed a win. I know you immediately want to just scan the key points steal the ideas and run with them (or perhaps groan inwardly and close the screen). I’d encourage you to thoughtfully read each point. Perhaps the next time you’re looked down upon to prove your success you can use one of these to bring things into focus.
1. Be The Best
The first of the ways to always win is to be the best. It might sound like an easy way out and not even really a tip, but, simply put, if you’re the best you will win. You will have the better product, the better service, the better opportunity. The first way you can always consider yourself and your business a success is if you truly are better than your competitors. If you have spent time, energy, money – or more commonly – blood, sweat, and tears building your business and you have made your goal to be the best at what you do then you have a reason to say you win. You have defined your market, you have identified a need and you have delivered the best solution. It’s important that the market points to you as the best also. It’s not a label you hang on yourself. Self-proclaimed accolades are of no importance. Be the best because your customers say you’re the best. No one can deny your success when this is the case.
2. Be Confident
If you have worked hard to build your company, if you have listened to the need and focused your time on meeting that need through your product and service then you absolutely must be confident in yourself. If you want to win you must expect to win. This doesn’t of course imply that you never fail. In fact, its rather because of the failures that you can be confident. There’s a quote by Colin Powell which I think fits here.
“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.”
– Colin Powell
Note that failure is understood to be a part of the process. Again, I’m not suggesting a foolish confidence but rather a confidence placed in a job well done. Be confident in the road you have chosen the failures and lessons along the way and you will win. Be confident and you will win.
3. Be Determined
The last in this triad is the idea of being determined. If you are determined to win this impacts how you run your business and ultimately decides your success. If you are determined to succeed you will find a way to succeed. You will win if you are determined to win and never give up. This concept of being determined is again not a foolish headlong plunge in a single direction. Your determination should never take the “blinders” approach. The blinders approach is when you set a course of action, define the steps and then march forward like a horse with blinders refusing to look to either the left or the right. This approach is not the right type of determined approach. The better idea is the concept of determined persistence. You’re determined to succeed. You persist in your striving regardless of failures, course corrections, changes in plan until ultimately you achieve your goal. If you are determined like this you will always win.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence…Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
– Calvin Coolidge
These first three methods are the most common. These are the ones you’ve heard before and you probably can relate to because you’ve seen them somewhere else or just generally understood them to be the way in which most business judges wins and losses, successes and failures. I’d like to give you two additional way you can always win. I don’t mean this to be glib or tongue-in-cheek. I earnestly believe these two points are equally important when considering winning.
4. Redefine Success
The next time you start to judge yourself or give account for your business to someone else consider the opportunity to share a different idea about winning and success. I think it’s too easy to look at the bottom line, the dollars, market share, or number of employees when describing a win. In reality there are absolutely other ways to win. Perhaps a better definition of success might be the quality of life you’ve improved for someone else, the spark of knowledge you’ve given to someone else, or the opportunity to celebrate the success of another person as a result of your influence. I believe those are absolutely wins. I consider myself to have succeeded when I see someone else win and I’ve been able to be a part. My business may not have seen a direct increase in sales as a result but that doesn’t diminish the fact that we’ve won indirectly.
Success should not always be measured by Wall Street standards. Redefine success and you will always win.
5. Join Others
The last way you can be sure you will always win comes when you stop looking at your business with an us vs. them mentality. When you join a community, a network of others you have an opportunity. You can share your experiences, you can share your failures and you can learn. Not only does this improve your chances of success as defined in the initial three ways above but perhaps even more importantly you’ll see success in others and you’ll join with them in their victories. Winning does not always mean your personal success. You can also win through celebrating with the wins of someone else.
Similar to redefining success above, joining with others means you’ve won a connection, a relationship, and greatest of all, a friend. Every time I have the chance to develop a lasting friendship with someone else I absolutely consider that a win. You will always win if you join with others.
I hope you’ve sincerely read through the above 5 ways to always win. Of course the idea I want to share is that winning is much more than what we often consider winning when it comes to the business, corporate view of winning. Your business is much more than that single type of winning. Life is much more than a number on a page. You can always win in life if you’ll take the time to truly understand the important things.