Success Secrets?

I read a post today from my mate Mitch titled The Secret To Success Is….. in which he posted a great video naming one specific thing that you need to be successful. While I agree with him that the reason he named can be very important I don’t believe it to be the sole factor. I don’t believe that any one factor can lead to success. Nope, in my humble opinion a person’s success is usually attributed to several factors. Over the weekend I went to the Australian Grand Prix and whilst I wanted Alonso to win in his Ferrari the person who actually achieved success was Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus. While his successful win can be attributed to a team effort a lot of it due to the Kimi’s personal attributes. Had someone else been driving the car it could well have been a different result.

successful race Kimi’s success and creating a successful business are two different things. My brother and I started our first successful business at a pretty young age, I was twenty and he was twenty one. We would never have been able to do that without our dad’s backing and I’m sure the fear of letting him down was part of our motivation to succeed. When we purchased the business we had a competitor and our new business was the underdog. After a couple of months we approached them about continually undercutting our prices but they would have nothing of it. We decided not to match his prices and to beat him by providing better service as well as a bigger range of products. We closed him down within two years. Why were we successful?

  • Better Service: Nothing was too good for our customers. We went out of our way to satisfy their every needs.
  • Great Personality: Those other guys were a little lacking personality wise and at times came off a little abrupt. This worked to our advantage.
  • Fresh Products: We always made sure that whatever we sold was of the best quality. If we wouldn’t personally buy it we wouldn’t sell it.

We worked very hard in those days starting at 7.30 in the morning and closing at 9pm. However, one very important reason for our success was timing. After selling the business shopping hours had changed, service stations started selling bread, milk and other staples resulting in a lot of delis closing down.

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Our second business, which we ran successfully for over twenty years, was a wholesale milk run. Our succes was due to hard work and once again providing the best customer service possible. We discovered early on in out business career that people didn’t mind paying extra as long as they received great service. While others were losing trade to competitors we managed to grow ours. Something else that always helped our business was the way we treated our customers. We took the time to get to know them and they likewise got to know us and that also helped when our competitors tried to take business away from us. Naturally when it comes to blogging it’s pretty hard to provide good customer service, unless your selling one of your own products in which case you want to ensure that you fulfil their every need. The most you can do is to reply to every comment in a polite and courteous manner, never belittling those who grace your blog with a comment. Factors that made us successful in our last business included;

  • Good customer service
  • Good staff training
  • Being adaptable to changing conditions
  • Willing to invest in out business

We went through some very stressful times in that particular business. After one particular takeover things became so stressful that every time I came home after work I just broke down and cried. But I got up the next day and did it all again and kept at it until it got better. There were some though who thought their only way out was to take their own life and they were sad moments indeed. Summing up I believe being successful can’t be tied to any one factor as it can only come about if you can master several factors, some of which I named in this post. What factors do you think can be attributed to success?

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