Last week I asked you to calculate your actual hourly rate and I suggested you should be delegating or outsourcing tasks that are well below your normal rate.
This week, I want to continue with that theme and look at different ways to leverage the people in your business. Who you surround yourself with – both at work and away from work – is very important.
The journey to business success can be long and winding, and the people in your inner circle need to be supporting you along the way. You must surround yourself with dream-makers, not dream-takers.
Leveraging your peers
You must remember that the commercial intelligence you need is already in the room, it’s in the collective group. There’s always somebody in your inner circle of influence who has the answer you are looking for.
Maybe there is someone in the room who has made greater progress than you and your organisation, or who has a different perspective and can add weight to what you need to keep moving forward.
My inner circle has contributed significantly to my current and ongoing success, and my success adds value to others in my inner circle.
Two questions to ask those in your inner circle:
- What’s been your greatest success, and how can I learn from that?
- What’s been your greatest challenge, and how can I help?
You don’t need all the answers, you just need the right questions.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You also have to bring your own intelligence and critical thinking. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking a question or two of our peers. It’s a very powerful form of leverage.
Here’s a great exercise to do regularly. Take time to reflect upon people you know, and rank the 10 people who can most help you grow your business this month.
This is a great habit for you to get into. You won’t achieve success by yourself, so why not strategically identify who you should be spending time with?
Clearly identify the value these people provide to you and the outcomes they can help you with.
- How could you build a partnership with them?
- Who do they know who can help your business?
- What skills or knowledge do they have that you need?
If you’re not sure about something, ask them! Don’t be shy. Turn it into a system. Like everything in your business, your approach to this needs to be systematic and quantifiable.
Pay it forward.
Here’s the key to the success of this strategy; you have to help others in return. People will notice very quickly if you’re trying to exploit them for your own gain.
That’s not the way to grow a profitable business, and it’s also simply not a very nice thing to do.
If you have an abundance mindset, you’ll know that there’s plenty of success to go around. If you get out there and find people who can help you in your business and you do the same in return, everybody wins.
I’ve found over my many years of business that just about everybody is happy to help if I’m willing to return the favour when the time comes.
There are people who are already doing business with people you wish to do business with. Find out who they are. Find out what people are buying one step before you and one step after you. You then have the opportunity to bridge that gap and make these people part of your inner circle.
Ask yourself what opportunities this gives you to build your business, perhaps by creating partnerships with these people.
Your inner circle can include people such as: other people in your industry, your suppliers, people you are competing with, your accountant, your lawyer – really, anybody who can offer valuable insights into your industry and/or your business.
The key advisers most people need to succeed in business are: an accountant, a legal representative, a financial planner, a business banker and, ultimately, a key strategist. These can be internal or external, and may change and evolve as your business grows.
Think of this as your nonexecutive board who will give you honest information and the benefit of their experience.
Power to you this week.