02.06.20163 min read

Leadership: Pillar No. 1 of Small Business Success

Whether you’re a stage one solopreneur or a stage five growth company, effective leadership is essential to your success. That statement probably comes as no surprise if you’re leading a team, but why would I make that statement about solopreneurs? There’s nobody for you to lead in a one-person company, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong. Probably the most wrong and inaccurate belief an entrepreneur could have. And, considering there are 22 million documented solopreneurs in the U.S. alone, according to the U.S. Census (and who knows how many more millions of undocumented solopreneur businesses), this is a very important pillar of small business success.

Leadership starts with our thoughts, words and beliefs  Our actions, habits, goals, and our character follow from our thoughts, words, and beliefs. My dad taught me this many years ago, when I was a teenager. Then, when I was a struggling business owner, I actually listened to what he taught me, internalized it and applied it to my business, with great success.

Think about this: You take action based on what makes sense to you and you achieve high performance based on the actions you take. So, the key to high performance (small business success, in our case) is to develop thoughts, words, and beliefs (making sense of things) in a way that leads to actions that will lead to performance. Take that in:

The key to performance (success) in a business lies in the thoughts, words, and beliefs of the leader.

This is true whether you’re leading 100 people or just yourself. I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs. After talking with them for a few minutes, I have a good read on their thoughts, words, and beliefs. And based on those thoughts, words, and beliefs, I know how their business is performing.

When you’re a solopreneur, it feels like the world is against you.  t’s incredibly lonely. The negative thoughts inside of you (and outside of you) are constantly pounding against you. Stop them! The path to success starts inside your mind. When you lead yourself by consciously choosing what to think, say and believe, you’re on your way to success.

Leadership starts with our thoughts. What are you thinking?

SBS Idea of the Day: My favorite book on controlling (leading) our minds is “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  I highly recommend it. Bonus Tip: My second favorite book on wiring our minds for success is “Think and Grow Rich.” It’s also a must-read. For what it’s worth, my third favorite book on the topic is the book I co-authored with Scott called “Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy.” And because I’m giving you all these reading suggestions, you might want to start with page 73 of “Conquer the Chaos”, where I share with you seven steps to speed reading. It’s not voodoo. It works. Check it out.


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