To stay competitive in today’s fast-paced world, it’s not enough to copy the old formula and expect entrepreneurial success. The reality is, more is demanded of you in terms of time, effort and insight. You have to be more efficient both at managing yourself and at running your business. Below are three of the best tips to help you stay ahead.
Outwork and Outlearn Your Competitor
Tech billionaire Mark Cuban, in an interview with Entrepreneur, revealed his secret to being successful: “it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business.”
You already know what it’s like to outwork. You put in more hours. Following the pattern of many successful CEOs—Jack Dorsey of Square, Tim Cook of Apple and Richard Branson of Virgin Group—you clock in more than 40 hours a week.
But how do you outlearn competitors? It’s not about getting a PhD or a Master’s degree. Cuban, in fact, described his relentless pursuit of new material. He bought manuals and read every book and magazine and what not. He has likely read everything related to his business.
Outlearning your competitors helps you stay ahead for these obvious reasons. One, you know more about your business or industry than they do—so you’re more confident in every decision you make. Two, you’re able to form new ideas and put them to test. Three, your knowledge helps you spot potential shifts and trends, and thus helps you prepare for the future.
You don’t have to read every published book. To save time, read business book summaries first and decide if a book is worth reading.
Spend Your Time and Energy on Things that Matter
Wasting time and energy is the easiest way to fail in life and in business. It’s too easy to waste them on unproductive and unprofitable activities. We have, in fact, created more ways to distract ourselves from important or high-priority tasks.
Consider your typical day at work. How much time do you actually spend on crucial business activities? How much time do you waste on surfing the web, checking your inboxes and social accounts, taking breaks and chit-chatting? The answers will surprise you.
Steven Covey’s First Things First and Tony Schwartz’ dictum, “Manage your energy.” can help you maximize your potential.
Use Technology to Strengthen Your Competitive Advantage
Technology won’t do miracles for you. It won’t make you do things or motivate you to take risks. But it can help you do things better and faster—only if you use it properly. Think of your tablet or smartphone or any other mobile computing devices. They’re more than just a tool for sending and receiving messages. As a business leader, you should be able to use these devices in a more practical and effective way. Allow them to distract you or help you. It’s your choice.
Beyond personal advantage, you can also leverage technology to improve customer service, collaboration, marketing and any other aspect of your business. You can start by reading authoritative books and blogs on any technology-related subject. The rest depends on your willingness to make technology work for you and your business.
Staying ahead in the business world has never been easier. The web has all the resources you need at your disposal. Make the most out of them today.