10 Simple Actions that Create Success

Apr 6 13:52 2006 Tyler Hayden Print This Article

This article is about the top 10 things you can do to make your business more sustainable.  Based on Tyler Hayden's Book "Livin' Life Large: Simple Actions Create Success."

There is something about being in business for yourself. It’s more than just the perk of having phone conversations with powerful CEOs while still in your underwear – I work from my home. It’s more than finding a sense of job security in knowing that you can be employed,Guest Posting unemployed, and then employed again all in the same week. Being in business for yourself is so indescribable that you have to do it to truly understand and feel it.

Easy to say, "Be an entrepreneur. Follow your ideas. Work with passion, and fulfill your need to be successful." Truth is anyone can successfully start a business, but without keen understanding and steadfast commitment to building a business, any good idea can go the way of countless businesses that close annually in Canada. So if you want to live the entrepreneur’s dream, learn that simple actions will create your success – it’s the small-town Canadian way.

Here are ten things you can do to make your business more sustainable.

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

I used to be a farmhand at a chicken farm. My chores included everything from picking the eggs to cleaning them to grading them. (Don’t worry, that’s not like a teacher grading essays. I did size grading – some eggs are bigger than others, and in this case size does matter.)

I figured out one day why people say, "Don’t put all your eggs in one basket." And anyone who owned solely Nortel stock could tell you why, too.

When you are picking eggs in a chicken barn, there are chickens clucking everywhere. They are on top, underneath, inside, and behind everything. It’s like tripping over your kids’ toys in the family room. With all those chickens, you are either bound to lose your footing or become a pissed-off bird’s target. When either of those things happen and you have placed all your eggs in one basket, then bingo – you lose it all at once, everything you worked for.

So if at all possible, spread your eggs around. It might not get you as far as fast in the short run, but in the long run you will be better off.

2. A tongue is not that heavy, but few can hold it.

That’s what they say. You can probably think of a time that either you or someone near you didn’t hold their tongue. And what resulted because of it?

Sometimes we say too much, argue too much, make a bad joke, or somehow hurt someone’s feelings. Once we have uttered the words, we can’t take them back. They’re out there, and people will remember what we have said no matter how often or how vigorously we apologize. That is why it is so important to weigh the consequences before we say what’s on our minds.

Sometimes we might physically have to hold our tongue to stop from saying what we are thinking, but in the end we will be better off.

3. Figure out how you can make a difference in your community.

You can really make a difference in people’s lives just by taking the time and effort to genuinely care about them. There is a farmer down the road from me who, for some strange reason, bought one of those yellow sign boards that stores in strip malls use for advertising outdoors. He’s always posting a different quote or statement on it such as, "Don’t drink and drive, buy milk," or a Bible scripture or something that will make you laugh.

Regardless of what he has on his sign, people who drive by read it and even talk about it around town.

So don’t be surprised how a little effort can make a significant impact on other people and the community around us. It is up to each of us to make our community better by getting involved and helping others. It could be through posting simple messages on a sign like the farmer, it could be volunteering, or it could be giving to local causes when people canvas door-to-door.

4. At the end of the day, feel good about what you have done.

My dad has been permanently disabled for years and sick since I was a child. As I write this, I know that the end of his physical life is getting closer.

I was talking to my wife one night about how Dad is getting a bit difficult in his seemingly final days. He doesn’t want to take care of himself as much as I would like. Laurie, my wife, said, "Tyler, when you look in the rearview mirror, how will you feel?"

She was right.

When it comes to relating to the other people in our lives and making decisions about how to interact with them, what matters is how things look in the rearview mirror. They say hindsight is 20/20, but even when we don’t like how it’s shaping up, we don’t necessarily make changes to the stuff coming towards us, which will eventually be the stuff behind us.

I feel good about what I have been able to do for my dad and the relationship we now have – things were strained for a while and possibly will be again. At the end of the day, I will be able to feel good about what I have done because I took the opportunity to look in the rearview mirror and make changes to what was coming my way.

Take the time now to check your rearview mirror, because you can’t alter the past.

5. Don’t be a fake.

It amazes me that being yourself is such a unique concept. To me, being yourself and not an imitation of someone else is easy to do. People who would choose to be something that they are not bewilder me.

I remember giving a speech at a national conference for a group of other professional speakers. After I finished, a very nice man from the States approached me and said, "What a wonderful speech. It is so rare for people to be treated to such an authentic presentation." I didn’t know what to say, mostly because I had to figure out what he meant.

What he meant was that my talk was honest and from the heart. I was on stage being myself. The funny thing is, it’s a good thing he liked it because I would not have known how else to do it.

It’s important to be yourself – a good self. People will recognize you for that.

6. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

My father always said, "Tyler, Rome wasn’t built in a day." What I think Dad meant by this was that I don’t have to have it all today. And we don’t. All that is good comes in time and is worth waiting for.

I used to be the guy who was running forward farther and faster than anyone else my age. I was taking the vacations, owning the SUVs, paying off the debts, and living the life. Then it all came together for me. So I semi-retired, realizing that there were far more important things than the material possessions life was offering.

Now I spend a day a week exclusively with my 16-month-old daughter and work only when she is in day care. I am focusing my energy on what’s important, and the rest will be built in time.

I was missing the things on the side of the road that made the path to my dreams. Now, I take the time to see, feel, and enjoy every single one of those things. My Rome is going to take a while.

Remember life is about the process, not the product.

7. Remember the thank-you jobs.

I traveled to Newfoundland for my brother’s wedding. It was a great event, complete with tons of family, food, and beverages. We mainlanders even kissed the cod.

While I was there, I got to know my brother’s new father-in-law, Paul, who has worked in a small town his whole working life and has worked for the same mill for most of that time. I would say that there aren’t many machines he can’t run; furthermore, there aren’t many jobs he can’t do. He has "getting the job done" down to a science. I asked him how he did it. He said it was simple. (I like simple.) Apparently, it all comes down to the "thank-you jobs." I, not knowing what a "thank-you job" was, needed further elaboration.

Paul told me how he spends most of his time on the job doing thank-you jobs, which means doing things for the other guys. For instance, he might make some gate hardware for a fellow’s horse pen or fix something on someone’s car. He says that by doing these "thank-you jobs" the other guys are happy to go the extra mile and get things done around the mill for him.

With "thank-you jobs" you get what you give. People remember when you help them out, so that everything balances out in the end.

8. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

Don’t rush. Do the job well. I know sometimes our project managers want the job done fast, but haste costs more in the long run.

I look at the old house we live in, the 215-year-old Cape Cod, a great old place. The walls are still square, the beams are still strong, and the workmanship is second to none. Then I think about some of the houses my parents bought in those quick-to-build subdivisions. I remember my cousin Susan lived in one with a crooked window – so much so that if you put a marble on the sill it would roll off.

Sometimes, we feel the need to rush because there is serious pressure on us to get the job done no later than now. Getting it done is one thing. Getting it done well is still another. Things can be inexpensive, but they don’t have to be cheaply done.

I believe in doing the job once and doing it well. Do you think that 200-plus years from now the newer subdivision will still be standing strong like our old Cape Cod? I sure don’t. I think that when we pay attention to detail, our results are more enduring. It’s OK to care.

9. "It’s time for the afternoon barn raisin’!"

I attended a conference once with my buddy Del. One evening we were watching some really profound television, Pinky and the Brain. The episode that night was, as usual, absolutely hilarious. It was about Amish families and every afternoon one of the Amish characters would scream, "It’s time for the afternoon barn raisin’!" Then the TV screen would fill with family upon family working like bees to put up a new barn. It was a whirlwind – then, bang! – in moments a barn was raised.

Take the opportunity to surround yourself regularly with help from your neighbors, family, and friends – and do the same for them. We are enriched by helping each other and are able to achieve so much more when we work together.

The next time you have a project that needs doing like painting your fence, buy the supplies, invite your friends, then provide some drinks and good food and whamo! "It’s time for an afternoon barn raisin’!"

10. Die with blisters on your hands, not your butt.

Working hard and playing hard are probably the most important things you can do for yourself. There is nothing more satisfying than feeling the burn on your hands or sweat on your brow after a hard day’s work or play.

If you find that you are sitting on your butt more than you are moving it, then it’s time to make a change. It is time to start working hard and playing hard and building those blisters. Neither working hard nor playing hard will kill you, but without finding a balance between the two, you could be destined for the undertaker sooner than you think.

So instead of creating an end, why not start creating a new beginning by Livin’ Life Large and getting the most out of every single moment of every single day?

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About Article Author

Tyler Hayden
Tyler Hayden

Tyler Hayden has been a full-time professional speaker and innovative educator for the past decade . His business is personal development and nontraditional team-building programs. Tyler’s clients include some of the world’s largest corporations and associations, such as the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).

www.tylerhayden.com

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