Gandhi has been oft been quoted as saying “Be the change you want to see in the world”, a quote that I try to embrace regularly in my personal life, and instill in my two young sons whenever they face adversity and inequality.
In the business world, leaders are also change agents. Not just big business either. It’s easy to rattle off names such as the late Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Sir Richard Branson when asked “who are the world’s best business leaders?”. They are great examples, don’t get me wrong.
On an everyday level, we can all do our bit to be entrepreneurial and small and big business leaders others around us will admire, follow and emulate. Small business is where I find spades of innovation and collaboration can make all the difference and make you more profitable.
Here is a few easy to adopt ideas so you can be the CEO of Five Star Business Leadership in your own world.
1. Embrace the unknown
If you are a sole trader then you are in a blessed position. With low overheads and an ability to take on new projects, rebrand or even expand your business is all within easy reach. Go with it. Last year, I walked away from $100,000 of PR contracts to pursue what Bespoke Communications does best these days – PR strategy, business writing services and media training.
Admittedly, it was a very lean few months – and regularly challenged my ability to say “no” to PR work – after I made the call but I relaunched my web site and spread the word to my networks and existing client base. This had led to more of the work I love, new national speaking engagements, and overall better remunerated work for me in 2015.
2. Network like a celebrity
Social media has changed the way we all do business, whether we are working from the 35th floor of a CBD office or from our kitchen table. Networking in modern business thankfully no longer means standing around a room of suited up strangers, swapping business cards that lead nowhere. Starting business pages on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter is a painless foray into networking and leading with your ideas and engaging with clients and peers. Creating business opportunity from a smartphone or laptop is now a global thing and you won’t know its potential until you spend some time doing it.
3. Collaborate and outsource
Teaming up with like-minded business owners and professionals on pitches or projects is a valuable way to learn from other leaders and share your unique expertise. Likewise, don’t be afraid to carve off the bits of your business you don’t relish and quite often don’t have an aptitude to master. I have a business coach, accountant, and PA for example and though an investment the right people can help you grow your business and let you spend more time leading and shining.
4. Speak up
Public speaking rates as most people’s least enjoyed activities – and even more feared than death. Even a seasoned media trainer like myself has shied away from plenty of webinar talks and key note address events when asked. However in the digital age, having the ability to communicate fresh ideas in a YouTube video or engage in Skype conference all is all part of the deal, like it or not. With some preparation and practice I can’t think of a better way to reach more potential stakeholders than speaking either online or in person. I now get paid to speak at business events and it’s been a great way to build my profile in a massive way.
So, as you prepare your business plan or career goals for the rest of 2015 be willing to lead and carve out the future you want. Businesses need leaders who can be authentic and brave. Leaders like you.
Founder of Bespoke Communications (www.bespokecomms.com.au), Amber Daines is a successful Australian based business owner, author, speaker and media trainer. After 12 years of being a corporate cowgirl, today Amber loves being self-employed and sharing her knowledge with other professionals all over the globe.