To be successful in business, you have to be able to adapt and to pick up knowledge and skills as you go. You learn from mentors, colleagues and competitors, and you take lessons from both your achievements and your mistakes.
Absorbing all of this information helps you to grow not only as an entrepreneur, but also as a person. Following are three important lessons I’ve learned during my career.
1. It’s impossible to control everything
No matter how much of a perfectionist you are and how tight a grip you want to keep on your company, the simple fact is you can’t control everything.
Trying to micromanage every aspect of your business can reduce your ability to focus on strategic planning – not to mention spiking your stress levels unnecessarily. As a leader, you have to be able to take a step back and delegate tasks to the appropriate people.
There will also be a range of variables outside of your business that you have little or no control over, including the prevailing market conditions. It means you have to be flexible in your approach and ready to tailor your strategy to suit changing circumstances.
2. Patience is an important virtue
It’s true that a small number of businesspeople seem to propel themselves to instant fame and fortune, but the vast majority of entrepreneurs have to work hard over a sustained period of time to achieve their goals.
This means that patience is vital asset among business leaders. You need to have foresight and dedication to stick to your path and realise your ambitions. Anyone who has made it to the top thanks to hard work and perseverance – and that’s most people – will tell you that this makes the eventual rewards all the more satisfying.
3. Keeping your focus is crucial
After reaching a particular target or milestone, there is a risk that entrepreneurs – who are always juggling multiple priorities – will turn their attention elsewhere and lose their momentum. If you want to achieve sustained success and company growth, you’ll need to be able to maintain your focus on all areas of your business.
One of the things that has helped me to remain motivated throughout my career is my desire to ‘Be Something More’. This phrase was printed on a poster that I put up on my bedroom wall as a youngster living at home and it has helped me to shape my approach to work and to life more generally.
‘Be Something More’ reminds me to continuously strive to achieve the most for my businesses, myself and, just as importantly, for the people around me. This guiding principle is so important to me that I decided to make it the catchphrase for the entire Appco Group.
As chairman and founder of the Cobra Group, Chris Niarchos has achieved global success as an entrepreneur. His journey began at the age of just 22 when he started his first direct sales company in Sydney. He had a vision of growing the business into an international organisation and, through hard work and skill, he has succeeded in his ambition.