3 Essential Tips to running a Successful Business

Written by Adam Clinckett

One of my favorite things to do is to talk to other business owners.  I'm always looking at why some businesses are more successful than others.

I've got 3 essential rules on how to reach your success.

1. Define Success

I grew up thinking success was to be like Michael Jackson who would come home to his Neverland Ranch complete with tigers, monkeys and all kinds of exotic things.

After finishing school and university, I thought success was running up the corporate ladder and becoming more and more involved in the design and management.

And then I thought...the story will just go on and on forever.

So you need to define what success looks like for you.  What are you aiming for?  Goals like "more business" is really not motivational and won't create any kind of lasting impact on you.

You'll find a much more concrete foundation by saying "I want to be the premier service for X by making a measurable difference in those people's lives".  At least, that's what makes me feel good.

An easy way to determine if you're on the right track to defining success would be to ask yourself "if I told my parents about my goal, would they tell their friends?" And once you reach success, will your definition change?

Success is really the goal of why you got into business in the first place.  It's why you get up in the morning and where you're headed.

Aim high!  You may still miss the target, but at least you won't shoot your foot off.

2. Aim for the Target

Once the target has been identified, most people struggle to stay on target.  If you've ever driven a boat, you have both the waves and wind continually pushing you off course.  You're frequently tuning your direction.

One anxious journey, storm clouds completely removed all the landmarks and mountains out of our visibility and all we saw was the ocean and had absolutely no sense of direction.

We'd accidentally left the GPS at home, and didn't think we needed to go back for it.  What I would have given for even a compass!!

If you have a rock solid vision of what success is, you aim for it.  You take the hits from the wind and waves, you correct and keep aiming for your goal.

It doesn't really matter if you think you can or can't achieve it.  If you commit yourself to the target, you will get there. But if your target keeps moving, you'll never be able to build anything substantial because you'll be continually starting from scratch to hit the latest target.

3. Do the Work

There's thousands of moving parts in a business, and to be good at business, you need to do all of it.

That's not going to happen overnight, and you shouldn't feel bad about it taking so long.

When I left school, I joined the army and remember going on all night marches with my pack on my back and rifle in hand.  There was no color to the scenery at night, just 100's of shades of grey.  I was always waiting for the cut scene where after 10 seconds of walking, the scene would change and I would be at the destination - it never happened!  

A 50km journey is really a journey of 65,000 steps that you take, one at a time.  But you'll never arrive at your 50km destination unless you take each step sequentially.  You have to keep walking and eventually, you arrive.  

All business owners are busy trying to find enough hours in the day.  Hire some help if you need it.  Get a casual or virtual assistant if you can't afford (or need) someone full time.  Your primary goal is to do all the work required to move the needle to achieving your success (see point #1) and then keep making sure taking steps efficiently.  No point scaling walls if you can just walk around it.

That said, don't burn people along the way.  Achieving success in business should never be at the expense of your relationships or reputation.  If you're doing those things, you're doing it wrong.


You can do it.  Never sell yourself short.  When you dig deep, you find a well of talent and resilience that you didn't even know existed.  You can do the impossible.  As Audrey Hepburn once said: "Nothing is impossible.  The word itself says I'm possible".

Define your target, aim and stay on your target, and then do whatever you need to do, to go out and reach success.