Another guest post for you today, this time from Danielle Levine. Here she is:
In the words of Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi:
“You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach your organization.”
If you want to be successful, you must always be open to learning more, expanding your knowledge, and thinking in different perspectives.
Think of your business like a flower. You must feed, water, and nurture the plant in order for it to bloom into something beautiful. If you do not contribute to the flower’s well-being, it is not going to survive.
That’s how it is in business, too. If you aren’t willing to constantly learn new things to benefit your business, well, your business will lose momentum, and eventually wither away. You don’t want that to happen, do you?
Through my time observing the management styles of multiple different companies, I have observed two types of different entrepreneurial attitudes as shown by this infographic:
As you can see, the styles of these entrepreneurs are polar opposites of each other. Entrepreneur Alex sees his employees as valuable assets to the company while Entrepreneur Bob lives in the mindset that he is already at the top of his profession, so there is no need to acknowledge and learn from his employees.
Take Blockbuster for example. Blockbuster was doing really well for a long time. It had a unique business model, and people turned to Blockbuster to satisfy all their movie cravings. The CEO, John Antioco, was overconfident in Blockbuster’s success; he saw Blockbuster as something that would always be relevant, but then Netflix came around.
There is no doubt that Netflix came around the corner and swept Blockbuster off their feet and straight into bankruptcy in such a short span. However, if Antioco would have taken precautions to avoid this, such as innovating the business to fit the modern time period, learning more about Netflix, and maybe even taking advice from other executives and employees who might have disagreed with his plan, Blockbuster could still be around today.
Below, I will give you three important reasons why you should never stop learning as an entrepreneur so that you do not make the same mistakes as entrepreneurs like Antioco.
- Listen to your employees – They might provide insightful suggestions to guide you on the right path
The worst mistake that an entrepreneur can make is to ignore feedback from their employees. An entrepreneur should NEVER brush feedback off their shoulders like it is nothing, especially if it is coming from the people who hold your company together. Remember, you might be the rock of the company, but your employees are the ones that keep you grounded, so take their advice; your employee’s everyday experiences in the field will give you insight on how to manage your company successfully.
- Live in the attitude that there is always room for improvement.
Just because you have achieved many successes, you run a thriving company, or you are respected in your field does not mean you should stop trying to grow. Take time to educate yourself. Take workshops from those who have already achieved success in areas you want to better yourself in. Always be open to new ideas, and think outside the box.
- Pick a mentor in your field of expertise and read, research, and learn everything about them.
Remember when you were younger, you had that one person you really idolized and looked up to. In your mind, this person was the superstar that you wanted to be. Now think about the entrepreneur you look up to. This could be a big shot like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, or somebody less-known. Try your best to follow in path of success and learn from it everyday.
In summary, determine what areas you need to strengthen and follow a disciplined path of all these reasons that I gave you to be successful. You should never doubt your abilities to improve exponentially. Remember, the most successful entrepreneurs are the people who made mistakes, failed sometimes, but never gave up.
About the Author:
Danielle Levine works on Marketing for Appfluence. Appfluence is the creator of Priority Matrix, a collaboration tool that allows teams to work together more efficiently. When Danielle isn’t reading up on the latest about productivity, she’s writing about it on the Appfluence, Productivity 101.