Here’s a book that is probably not on any entrepreneur’s top 10 or even top 100 business books list, but it’s one I keep on my desk just about all the time: The Portable Coach: 28 Surefire Strategies for Business and Personal Success by Thomas Leonard. Before his untimely death six years ago at the age of 48, Leonard was the founder of Coach University (where I received my coach training). His book is not a tool just for coaches. It’s for everyone in business who wants to be happier.
Recently I spoke at the Bellport (NY) Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting. In preparation I sent them a survey to see where these mostly small business owners’ heads were at. Like most small business owners, this group was optimistic about the future despite the current economy, but was feeling challenged by a lack of time to think about their businesses strategically, to organize themselves to their satisfaction, to eliminate the many annoyances of life that get in the way of their being as successful as they want to be.
Focus FactorWhen I thought about their successes and their challenges, and what to talk about, there was Thomas Leonard on my desk. He offers 28 strategies to change your life around for success. With 20 minutes to talk, I focused on these four concepts, and I think they can help any business person:
1. Be Incredibly Selfish: You are no good to anyone unless your own needs are met. You need to know what you want and not be afraid to let other people know. When you know how to make requests of people and get what you need, you can be generous to others.
2. Over-Respond to Everything Event Immediately: We all tend to be in crisis management mode some of the time (or all of the time). When a problem occurs, we try to solve it, for now….until it happens again, which it always does. Instead of doing the first thing that occurs to you to solve the problem, come up with five alternatives and solve the problem permanently. Turn every problem into a non-recurring event.
3. Build a Super-Reserve in Every Area of Your Life: When you have more than you need of important things, you can be creative, generous and more successful. So pick an area of your life that is draining a reserve you have (money, time, health, personal surroundings) and build a reserve quickly.
4. Tolerate Nothing: Most people tolerate hundreds of things in their lives: everything from leakly faucets to people who irritate them to their clothes not fitting to business partners who are not trustworthy. Understand that the things you tolerate are giving you some sort of payoff–you tolerate these things for a reason. Get in touch with how perverse that is. And then eliminate those things, one by one.
Contributing blogger Mitch York coaches executives who are evolving into entrepreneurs. Find York — and his personal blog — at www.e2ecoaching.com. Follow MSPmentor via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; and Twitter. And sign up for our Enewsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center.