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Business advice from the top leaders of the twenty teens

Business advice from the top leaders of the twenty teens

Posted 25th April, 2019 by William

The secret to success; type the term into Google and you get 695 million results. Articles claim to reveal the ‘six secrets of wildly successful people’, the ‘37 secrets only successful people know’ and ‘the secret to success no one talks about’.

Type the phrase into Amazon and 10,000 results are returned. At the top of the recommended items list, there’s a book by Eric Thomas that’s subtitled ‘When You Want to Succeed as Bad as You Want to Breathe’, a book called Ninja Future that’s about success in the new world of innovation and there’s a t-shirt that simply says, ‘secrets to success’.

However, if becoming truly successful was as easy as typing in a Google query or ordering from Amazon, we’d all most likely be billionaires.

The best way to get an insight into how to succeed is to look at the lives of the people who are already at the top of their game. In this blog, we’ll look at the habits, mottos and mantras of some of the most successful business brains of the twenty-teens for inspiration.

Bill Gates: read, lots

In 2016, Bill Gates revealed to The New York Times that “reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” The entrepreneur says that he reads up to 50 books a year and shares his reviews of these books on his Gates Notes blogs.

When reading, he says he makes notes in the margins to help him concentrate but it’s not just non-fiction books that the business giant reads. His post on the five books he’d loved most in 2018 included the thriller Bad Blood by John Carreyrou.

If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you might think Gates' advice is all well and good but wonder where in the day you could possibly squeeze in the time to read.

There are always audiobooks. Pop one on during your drive to work, while you’re at the gym or while you’re making a meal. And try to remember Gates' words; “I don’t let myself start a book that I’m not going to finish”.

Richard Branson: comfort and creativity don’t mix

In his blog, Richard Branson recently wrote: “It’s something I’ve found again and again in my own life; when we strike out of our comfort zones, we find what is really exciting, really meaningful, and really rewarding.”

But how exactly do you break out of a comfort zone?

Life coaches suggest that the first step to moving out of your comfort zone in business is to start moving out of your comfort zone in your private life. They suggest making tiny changes such as changing your route to work or eating dinner in a new restaurant, as opposed to the one you always go to.

Then, when you become more accustomed to trying new things in your personal life, you can start doing the same thing in business. For example, reach out to new contacts or start a project you’ve been nervous about.

Jeff Bezos: maintain a Day 1 mentality

On Twitter, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently explained that he “works hard to apply a Day 1 mindset to everything he does”.

What Bezos means by this is that he always strives to act like a start-up, to keep an eye on trends, and to make what he calls ‘high-velocity decisions’. This means reaching a decision even if all those involved don’t agree and agreeing to work together to achieve the goal regardless.

In his own words, he explains: “The outside world can push you into Day 2 if you won’t or can’t embrace powerful trends quickly. If you fight them, you’re probably fighting the future. Embrace them and you have a tailwind.”

Stewart Butterfield: be like a cook

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has tweeted multiple times about how business owners and entrepreneurs should ‘be like a cook’.

In one tweet, he wrote: “Be like a cook. Here, the sauce is too thin, so add some flour. Now the onions are caramelizing, so start to stir more briskly. Taste it — add salt? Push it with the fork; not quite firm yet. A little bit longer. Add a bit more water to thin it out…”

In another, he wrote: “It doesn’t even make sense to try to cook it exactly right on the first try. You are always adjusting, recalibrating, tweaking, experimenting, changing the temperature, deciding when to move to this or that next step.”

Butterfield’s tweets don’t require much translation. What he’s advocating is the process of trial and error for businesses. That you don’t aim for perfection every time, but place ongoing effort and attention into the art of creation and innovation.

Arianna Huffington: sleep

Sleep: it’s not something that small to medium business owners and entrepreneurs are known for getting a great deal of. In fact, a recent study suggested that the average small business owner gets less than seven hours sleep a night. Health professionals recommend at least eight hours.

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington has become a champion of the benefits of a good night’s sleep in recent years. She’s even published a book on it called The Sleep Revolution , explaining how “our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives”.

Need a few tips for getting a good night of Z's? The book’s available for less than £10 on Amazon.

Jeff Weiner: Schedule buffer time

The CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, explains that he always schedules ‘buffer time’ into his day. That means blocks of 30 minutes every day when he doesn’t have a meeting, deadline or any other commitment.

He explains that this allows him to regroup, to think or to have the opportunity to do things spontaneously throughout the day. Weiner is also a big fan of quiet time. On January 1st, he tweeted the following quote by Blaise Pascoe: “All of humanity's problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Categories: Tips, Blogging, Small Businesses

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