Unlocking Success: 9 Strategies to Elevate Your Business Career and Impact

Every business owner and entrepreneur I know really believes that they can make a difference, yet so few actually do. I’ve long wondered what these few have that the rest of us are missing. After many years working and consulting with real business leaders, I’ve become convinced that the key is in the mindset of the person, rather than any business process, service, or product.

Yet I have always struggled to communicate the specifics of what it takes to develop and nurture that mindset. Recently I was impressed with practical guidance provided in a new book, “Think Remarkable,” by Guy Kawasaki with Madisun Nuismer. Guy has a well-earned reputation as a marketing guru and futurist, starting with Chief Evangelist at Apple, and similar roles since then.

For your contemplation, I will paraphrase here, with my insights added, his nine paths to transform your life and make a real difference in any endeavor, including business:

  1. Embrace a mindset of continuous growth. Learn to identify and connect with supportive people and mentors who can help you maintain a growth mindset. This also requires that you embrace change and break away from stereotypical constraints to expand your knowledge and skill set. Take baby steps and celebrate each new advance.
  2. Accept your vulnerability and learn from failure. Realize that every alternative comes with risks, so always aim to transform setbacks into growth opportunities. Learn how to anticipate potential problems and build recovery plans early. Be willing to face bigger and bigger challenges with confidence gained from previous smaller accomplishments.
  3. Explore many career options based on interests. Let your interests develop into passions, rather than the other way around. Build many connections and relationships to highlight interests you never knew you had. Make yourself indispensable in every new role by doing the work to broaden your skill set. Own your niche and raise your value.
  4. Resolve to always do the right thing with grit. Often doing the right thing is neither the easiest nor the most attractive solution. Ask the hard questions of yourself and the people around you and really listen to the answers. It takes resilience, perseverance, and patience to make good decisions, and resolve to help others along the way.
  5. Formalize your goals and lead with results. Writing down your goals helps to assure that they are completely thought-out, and can be turned into results. Focus first on proving and communicating the concepts to others through prototypes and mockups. You need experts to provide an outside perspective and guide you in making the next step.
  6. Build connections and nurture early adopters. For every step forward and innovation, you need to find people with common ground who can help you persuade and influence others through shared interests. It helps to tell good stories that engage you with others. You need to avoid generalizing a negative response, but focus on turning it around.
  7. Recruit the best team and lead by example. Always seek out and nurture people who have complementary and better skills than yours. That means hiring with humility and self-confidence. Concentrate on improving your negotiating abilities and look for win-win solutions. Align team incentives with your goals and the mission of the organization.
  8. Value diversity in ideas and help others succeed. Ask the hard questions and really listen to input from others, to affirm the validity of their opinions and give them “voice.” Focus on giving people the benefit of the doubt, and worry about only what really matters. Your objective should always be to lift others up, not tear them down.
  9. Avoid the regrets of others and make better choices. We all have regrets we hear from others and in our life and business, including health maintenance, boldness inactions, relationship failures, and moral directions. Focus on a higher-level goal of making the world a better place. Money, fame, and fortune are really only incidental.

With these principles, I’m convinced that you can build and maintain a mindset that will make you one of the few who really makes a difference, and enjoy the journey as well as the destination. It won’t be easy, and you should expect some failures along the way, but the rapidly changing business environment today really needs more of us setting the path ahead.

Related: Unlocking Synergy: 5 Business Strategies for Seamless Integration