Is it possible to coach yourself to more small business success? I think so, especially after one of my since-childhood friends shared a newspaper article about baseball great Cal Ripkin, who spoke recently in Nashville. (Thanks, Lou, for thinking of me!)
Ripkin, who played 2,632 straight baseball games for the Baltimore Orioles, attributes his success to his contrarian thinking. He is widely regarded as one of the best shortstops and third basemen ever. His book, Get in the Game, 8 Elements of Perseverance that Make The Difference, gives his philosophy of life and showcases his work ethic toward the sport he loves.
3 Ways To Coach Yourself To Small Business Success
In his Nashville speech, Ripkin said three things that stood out to me. These are sure-fire helps for any small business owner who is in it for the long term and who gets it that personal growth will never stop.
- Notice and stop yourself from becoming complacent. Ripkin says “Once you are at a certain phase in your life, complacency is the thing you have to fight the most.” We get comfortable with a certain way of doing things, a certain level of success. We start thinking “this is good enough.” Complacency inhibits growth, but worse than that it is a subtle downhill slide into sloppy customer service and half-hearted delivery of services. If you catch yourself thinking that “rinse and repeat” is good enough for your business you have become complacent.
- Analyze your weaknesses even more than you build on your strengths. Many business owners know their strengths and arrange their business operations to play to their strengths. Nothing wrong with that, but it's only half the game. Ripkin said, “A lot of people, I found out, weren't willing to look at themselves in the mirror with harsh criticism. But if you can, and you go out there and apply it, you’ll be a better overall player.” This is true for small business owners as much as for professional athletes. I've heard business owners say, “I'm not good at that, I hire it done.” Fine – but don't use “I'm not good at it” as an excuse – hire it done but also build your weaknesses into more strengths.
- Seek to gain control of things that are currently outside of your control. Acknowledge what you can't control right now, but ask yourself “who does control this, can I get to know them, and can I impact their control?”
I've been coaching and mentoring small business owners for a long time. I agree with Ripkin that it's easy to hit a plateau in your business and get stuck there. If you can coach yourself to watch complacency, identify your weaknesses, and get closer to those who control what you don't then you'll be staying in the game of your business longer, and racking up more profits and wins.
Have you analyzed your own weaknesses? I'd love to hear about it below. And if you need help getting started, consider working with me one-on-one for an hour to get yourself going.
Want more tips about personal growth for small business owners? Read 3 Ways To Be Ready For Anything in Business and then jump over to How To Be a Predictable Successful Entrepreneur. Would love your comments on both blog posts!