STOCKHOLM - AUG 23, Dan Wilson (AUS) and a lot of competitors chasing him in the rain during the triathlon race Mens triathloin the lead of the triathlon race Mens triathlon ITU World Triathlon series event Aug 23, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden

We all know that growing a successful business is hard work and at times, that success is elusive to even the most successful. One reason this occurs is because life can be hard and problems are unavoidable. The road is long and often twisty so we all have to do what we have to do. The question is, are you asking the right questions? Here are four harsh truths that may jolt you, but if you follow them, improving your business is your reward.

  1. You can’t predict everything that is going to happen. Nor can you plan for every contingency. Your life and business can bring things that you cannot control. Having said that, there is one thing you can control–– your response to each specific situation. Psychologists tell us that pressure doesn’t create bad behavior, it simply brings it to the surface. If you don’t like what you see in yourself during pressing times, perhaps it’s time to change how you deal with situations and people.
  2. New ideas don’t always come easily. Particularly not if all you are focused on is your top and bottom lines. Ideas are what generate those lines, not a rigid set of financial forecasts or endless streams of spreadsheets. Of course, balanced financials are necessary, but that is not going to drive your business to its next level of growth. That’s what ingenious ideas can do, particularly if you have something that no one can offer.
  3. Letting go of an idea is often the best solution. Ideas are like pets in that once they’ve been around for a while it’s very difficult to let them go. The reason they’re so difficult to part with is because they’ve become an accepted business practice, or product line. But when the evidence comes in that this practice or product is a dud people often freeze in their tracks because they can’t imagine what they would do instead. The irony is, until you let go you’ll have a difficult time figuring out your next idea.
  4. Failing is a virtue reserved for the most successful. After spending time in life and business you begin to understand that nothing is forever. Things change because life brings changes to our doorstep. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, often it’s a good thing! The key is to not place blame because each failure brings you closer to your next success. There are examples of people who go from one success to another, but having served hundreds of companies and individuals over 35 years I can assure you the guy who says he’s never failed doesn’t know how to tell the truth.

Being honest with yourself about your business can often be disturbing if what is required is something you’re not particularly good at. This is a critical point most business owners get to with successful growing businesses. And it’s also one of the most common stumbling points. Here’s the secret.

You don’t have to be the superman of business. The most important thing to know is where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Everything else has a solution and those solutions are often found with others who have far greater skills in the areas you lack.