3 Ways to make your business succeed beyond start-up, by Holly Tucker, Founder of Not On The High Street

Holly Tucker shares three tips from her book, Shape Up Your Business, which will help you succeed beyond start-up.

My most inspirational boss was my CEO at the global advertising agency, Publicis Worldwide, who taught me the three guiding principles that have helped me succeed: Firstly, emotional insight is the key to understanding how people think – you should never be in such a rush to complete a job if it means you forget to try and feel what those around you are feeling; this is the key to understanding their motivation and behaviour. Secondly, everybody wants to feel good about themselves. I have learnt in business that it is more vital to understand why customers (or colleagues) love you than to worry about why some may be rejecting you. If you stay true to the crux of what makes you a great individual, your reward will be the loyalty of those around you. Finally, simplicity is divinity. The best solutions are the simplest and common sense is often the answer to complex problems.

So, now let me share three tips from my new book Shape Up Your Business, which will help you succeed beyond start-up:

1. Keep an Honesty Diary

Being honest about who you are – both at home and at work – is the quickest and simplest route to becoming the best you can be. Keep an hour-by-hour diary for a week and you will be able to see what happens when and what you are spending most of your time doing, or not doing. Next write a summary, thinking about how your life is divided up. This will help you find out where the real work and play happen. It can help to colour code this overview. Using your detailed hour-by-hour diary, write down each thing that takes up your time – whether large or small and give it a rating of 1-3 (1. Must Do, 2. Should Do 3. Shouldn’t Do). You can use big and small stickers for big and small things. Use colours to indicate whether you love or hate things – perhaps yellow for love it, blue for ambivalent, grey if it makes you miserable. Stick it all on a huge piece of paper and step back. What is it telling you? If you have lots of big stickers in your 3. Shouldn’t Do column, that’s telling you not to waste your time. If everything’s in grey, be kind to yourself, do more of what you enjoy – life shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Getting personal and honest in this way helps you face up to truths about what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your time and to understand your motivations and prioritise where your strengths lie.

2. Prepare an Elevator Pitch

You never know when opportunity will come knocking which is why you should prepare and practise your elevator pitch. Do you honestly know who you are, professionally, and what that means for your business network? Can you articulate it, clearly and with impact? Because you absolutely must be able to if you want to get on. Prepare a two-line and 10-line elevator pitch and learn it. You’d expect it to be obvious, but in fact it takes time to get this right, and it’s worth it. It allows you to sell yourself effortlessly and naturally at every opportunity as you never know when you might meet someone interested/interesting/helpful/useful to your career.

3. The Confidence Trick

Henry Ford said ‘whether you think you can do it or you think you can’t – you are right’. By understanding your relationship with confidence, you can guide yourself forward to succeed. Your relationship with confidence changes depending on the situation you are in and, by learning how to read your attitude towards yourself and your abilities, you can positively affect your confidence. When faced with a task, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Do you feel as if you, personally, are able to do this task or is it something you believe other people do?
2. Do you know that you can make it happen or do you suspect that no matter what you do it won’t work?
3. Do you truly know that you deserve all the success that is possible? Or do you feel like a fraud? That somewhere down the line, you will be found out or even that you simply don’t deserve it?

If you answer positively to these questions then, away you go! If negatively, you need to think more closely about the reasons why. It will help to imagine that you have been instructed that ‘you must do it’; that there will be a negative impact on you/someone close to you if you don’t. What then? How do you feel now? Notice what happens… you find a way. This process helps you change your relationship and take control of your confidence, rather than your confidence controlling you and what you are capable of.

Be the very best you can be because you deserve to live to your fullest potential. I wish you every success!

Find more great career advice in our MC@Work section.

Looking for more career inspo? It’s not too late to book tickets for Marie Claire’s @ Work Live, in association with Cointreau and Next. A one-day event on 23 April 2016, featuring advice, tips and inspiration from incredible speakers.

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