Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

In Business, Big Winners Often Break the Rules

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Anyone who wants to succeed in business must follow most rules. If you want to be taken seriously, honesty and integrity are of utmost importance. They are the building blocks for establishing good relationships with bosses, co–workers and clients.

It is okay to break some rules. And in many cases, it is desirable. If you just follow in someone else’s footsteps and expect to achieve the same success, you will likely fail. You must find your own style and focus on your own goals. You must know when it’s wise to adhere to the rulebook and when to toss it aside.

Here are five business rules that need to be broken:

1. You should work your way up

The days when you got a job right after high school or college and worked for the same company for 40 years until you retired are gone. Starting out in the mailroom and rising to the top of the corporation just doesn’t happen much anymore. If you want to get ahead today and move up the career ladder, you have to be willing to make the move to where the grass is greener.

Once you hone your skills at the workplace, you can take those skills and experience and put them to better use at another company. You can consider starting a second or even third career and even striking out on your own.

2. Old school marketing methods are obsolete

Business has jumped on the social media marketing bandwagon. This type of marketing works. But that doesn’t mean that you should abandon tried–and–true advertising techniques. Trial and error is often the best way to get a grip on just how to grow your business. Asking your friends, neighbors and the people at your church or temple for referrals can jumpstart a fledgling enterprise. And sometimes the best way to build your business is just to go door–to–door throughout your neighborhood and leave your advertising flyer on the front step.

Be creative. Step outside the box and be bold. Meet potential customers wherever you can find them. Offer a tantalizing promotion and run an intriguing contest. Have paper coupons printed on your ads and also post digital coupons on your website and/or Facebook page.

3. Be safe and stick to what you know

You could just stay in your comfort zone and continue doing what you have been doing for decades. But if everyone felt the same way, we would still be living in caves. Some of the most successful business leaders today jumped at the chance to explore new fields and are changing the world. For example, Elon Musk wasn’t satisfied to just sit back and watch his hugely successful enterprise, PayPal, soar to new heights. The soaring that is capturing Musk’s imagination is the kind that escapes Earth’s gravity. His company, SpaceX, sends rockets into space. And since he is concerned with the air we breathe down here, his pride and joy, Tesla Motors, is a rising star that produces clean–running electric cars. Musk took a chance and went from being a pioneer in online banking to breaking new ground in completely unrelated industries.

4. Don’t work with friends and relatives

Everyone has heard anecdotes about family feuds that erupted after two brothers or two friends got together and started a business. Sure, some business ventures that are jointly owned by friends or family members don’t have happy endings. But if the chemistry among partners is right, they can achieve success beyond their wildest dreams.

There are many examples of friends and family members who got together and built a fabulously successful business. Among them are husband and wife team, Elliott and Ruth Handler. Elliot and his original business partner, Harold Matson, founded the Matel toy company. The Handlers bought out Matson and Ruth created the Barbie doll. And the rest is history. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were in the same gym class in seventh grade. Many years later, these longtime friends from Long Island, New York founded Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream in Burlington, Vermont.

5. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it

Change is the name of the game today. You must be innovative and stay fresh. Just because you produce a product that is popular doesn’t mean that you must keep on producing that exact same product for the rest of your life. People want to see the latest and greatest products and are ready to leave the old stuff behind and buy something new.

If you have been successful, don’t be afraid to branch out. If you have a company that has become boring, re–invent it. It worked for Apple and IBM.

One rule that applies to all successful business owners and managers is that you must give your venture 100% of your effort and dedication. While it also helps to be in the right place at just the right time, you must be willing to work very hard.

So if you follow your passion and work hard at what you love, you’ve got a great chance to achieve all of your business goals.

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