Want to be a better entrepreneur? I do. Even though my brother and I have been in the entrepreneurial arena since grade school, we each know that there's always more to learn and always room for improvement. That's one of the most fun parts of being an entrepreneur — it's always changing and evolving. And if you aren't willing to change and evolve with it, you won't last.
So what does it take to implement a process of continual improvement so you can be sure you're a better entrepreneur today than you were yesterday? I think it comes down to improving in a few key areas on a consistent basis. If you focus on getting better in each of the following areas, amazing things will happen in your business.
1. Working smart. If you're an entrepreneur and want to be successful, you know you have to work hard. That's a given. But if you shift your focus to finding ways to work smarter, becoming more efficient, and optimizing your efforts, your hard work will be multiplied many times over. Take a look at your work day and look for opportunities to streamline your activities and improve the return on your time investment.
2. Learning new skills. The day you think you know it all is the day you begin to slide backwards. In our rapidly changing world, it is essential for an entrepreneur to continue improving his or her skill-set. Whether through books, blogs, tele-seminars, workshops, CDs, or any other method for gaining knowledge, take some time each day to learn or improve on a skill. Who knows — you might even discover a hidden talent in the process.
3. Doing what pays. This is an area that many entrepreneurs struggle with. Focusing your time and attention on those tasks and initiatives that drive your business is essential for maximizing your chances of success. If you get caught up in the minutia of daily "maintenance" tasks, you'll never be able to devote sufficient time and attention to what really matters to your business. Start by making a list of everything you do, want to do or know you should do for your business. Then pick out those items that will contribute most to your company's bottom line. Make those items your priority, and move to the next key…
4. Delegating. Are you the type of business owner who thinks, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself? The problem with that philosophy is that you'll never be able to do it all yourself and drive your business forward at the same time. Find good people — whether employees or outsourced workers — and assign them the tasks that aren't contributing directly to your bottom line. Especially in today's job market, it's not difficult to find skilled, conscientious workers, so there's no excuse for not delegating as much as possible, freeing you up to improve your business.
I want to be a better entrepreneur. And I'm willing to do what it takes to continually improve my skills, my businesses, and my life. What are you willing to commit to improving? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Share with the community in the comments section and on our Facebook page!
Mathew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.