Are You a Halfaker?

Business success stories are common in nearly every walk of life and business. From having a small retail business to the most successful hedge fund, business success stories range in size and complexity. But there are some common threads that run through most successful businesses and these can be tailored to help businesses create the winning mindset they need to become more than just another competitor in a sea of rising competitors.

As anyone who has researched business success stories knows, the most important element is a mindset. If your business success stories include success from someone who wasn’t blessed with an entrepreneurial mindset or unlimited business knowledge, you can still learn how to succeed. The key is to pick a business that was founded by someone who possessed a certain quality or attitude. For example, if you read a business success story about a gas station that was originally started by a single mother, the woman had an entrepreneurial spirit that came from her own personal experience. She knew the risks of owning a gas station and she did not take them lightly. Her business success stories reflect this spirit of service through the actions of her business – starting with her desire to provide good customer service and building on that through her determination and focus to overcome all the competition.

In addition to having an entrepreneurial spirit and overcoming obstacles, many business success stories have other attributes that will help business owners achieve their goals. Often these are personal strengths but the attributes shared may also be part of a set of business skills known as “takeaway skills.” The takeaway skill of a business owner is simply a set of strategies and tactics to help the business achieve its overall goal. This is where many business owners begin to feel out of their depth and it’s where most businesses begin to go wrong.

When business owners go to their drawers and cabinets to gather ideas for their next business idea, they often fail to realize that one of the best sources of business inspiration is found outside of the business. Many business owners get so wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of running their business that they fail to look at all the possible angles. Many business owners use their email, social media, websites, etc.

One of the keys to any successful business success story is the takeaway. The takeaway refers to a plan or strategy that is designed to help small business owners understand what their goals are and how to achieve them. A business success story that began with “I started this business” or “I founded this” is missing the point.

If you want to share a business success story that starts with “I started this” or “I founded this,” then you are missing the point. You’re not sharing a “takeaway” because you don’t know where to go after you stop making money. You are a haymaker.

Here’s a good example: Let’s say that Bob is a successful night owl. On his off days, Bob loves to ski and surf. He loves being around people who share the same passions as he does. One day, he goes out on a personal mission with his friend Peter. Before they leave, they both decide to pursue their own passions and Bob goes on to find a way to make a great living from it.

Is that great? It’s a great takeaway. But if you want to share your success, you need to share the big picture with nitpicks and other small business owners. You need to tell them why your small business works. Without that, you aren’t a haymaker.

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