While technology has changed the world and the way many things operate, business propriety has, for the most part, remained the same over the past century. Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich in 1937, and he accredits Andrew Carnegie for his ten rules of success. Those ten rules are important for every business owner to read, know and live every day when operating their business. Here is an interpretation of those ten rules and how they apply today:
1. Purpose. Figure out why you are going down the path you have chosen. Know your purpose, do not expect anyone else to define it for you. It should not be about making anyone else happy or becoming wealthy. Your purpose needs to be needs-driven. Solve a problem for customers.
2. Alliance. To be successful in business, you need to be able to find the best available sources of the skills, knowledge, and resources you lack. This includes getting the right partners, vendors, and customers. Your alliances may even include competitors.
3. The extra mile. Do more than you are required to do. Going above and beyond the call of duty can justify promotions, raises in pay, and other perks. When you give people more than they expect, there is a sense of indebtedness that can work in your favor.
4. Faith. Ideas are just the beginning. They must be supported by passion and faith. You need to believe in your idea and act on it.
5. Initiative. You need to see what needs to be done, and go do it without being told. Be proactive rather than reactive. Choose the right idea, create a product, set the price and find your customers. There will be times when you’ll need advice, and that is okay. Getting feedback from other people can help you to make the right decision.
6. Imagination. This is what enables you to view a problem from a new perspective and come up with a solution. Imagination is required for creativity and innovation.
7. Enthusiasm. This is a motivational tool that every entrepreneur needs to have. It attracts people, ignites passion and gets the commitment of others. Approach every day with enthusiasm and bring it into your business.
8. Accurate thinking. Entrepreneurs need to be able to use reasoning to separate facts from opinions. They also need to be able to make effective use of facts to solve problems. In the absence of facts, entrepreneurs must be able to think clearly to make decisions. Rely on reasoning, empirical evidence and data to make your decision, do not let your emotions surrounding something clear your view.
9. Concentration of effort. Have you ever heard the expression of keeping your eye on the prize? That is essentially what is meant by concentration of effort. This is what is needed to stay on task, working toward the purpose you have identified. Focus and determination will drive you to take the necessary steps to reach your goal. This also means to avoid being distracted by the things that do not drive you towards your purpose, the little distractions that every business owner faces personally and professionally.
10. Profiting by adversity. Entrepreneurs need to find the benefit in every setback. There are lessons to be learned from failures. Tough economic times and competition force you to be more innovative, try new strategies, and develop better practices.
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