You need to copy them before you can beat them.

There are moments when everything is going well. Money is in the bank. Profit is finding its way to the bottom line. Customers and staff are happy. These moments can cause complacency if we aren’t careful and it’s only a matter of time until life feels upside down. When the good moments come along, they are best used to figure out what a business needs to do next. If you need some direction on what to do next, take a look at your competition.

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When it seems impossible.

Not every day is awesome. Depending on where you are in your journey as an entrepreneur you might find that most days are tougher than others. Cash flow concerns. Challenges with people on your team. Market problems that you didn’t anticipate would impact your business. The list is endless. There are days when it can be very overwhelming to be an entrepreneur and it can feel like everything is coming undone. In moments like these, perspective helps.

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You never can tell.

The best times in a business are not obvious until you look back. Was it the market helping your business do well or was it brilliant management decisions? Maybe a little bit of both? You never can tell when the good times are coming to an end and the same can be said about bad times. As entrepreneurs our job is to manage our business well in both the good times and the bad times. Part of doing this means knowing the difference between the market forces impacting our bottom line and our leadership abilities.

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Take the hit and move on.

It’s easy to see in hindsight where you may have went wrong. As entrepreneurs we can often find ourselves making decisions that may not necessarily be contributing to a better result. We make decisions to grow our business or to offer new products and services only to find we didn’t execute well or encountered problems we didn’t anticipate. Being a successful entrepreneur means knowing when to move on.

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Your business can always do more. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

As if it wasn’t hard enough to find a customer and generate sales, every entrepreneur also has to find ways of keeping customers happy and has to find new ways of keeping them coming back. It’s not an exercise for the faint of heart and not every business is able to do it. Business is competitive which means entrepreneurs need to constantly be watching for the next opportunity to offer their customers more or risk being left behind and becoming obsolete. More can mean more service, more options or choice. It can also mean a better experience. Paying attention to what customers are doing is important and your ability to do more is dependent upon how serious you are about building a profitable and valuable business.

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What is the most exciting trend in your market today?

Day in and day out things can often seem the same. As entrepreneurs we can get into the habit of keeping our head down and focusing on the numerous tasks and requests being made of us without looking up to see what’s going on in our market. Our businesses can often feel stagnant or uninteresting depending on the day of the month or the circumstances we are fighting against. The antidote for getting unstuck is to find inspiration. This can happen when we meet with other individuals or when we learn about what other companies or businesses are doing to keep themselves relevant and competitive.

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Sir Richard Branson captures another dream through Virgin Galactic.

Many entrepreneurs (myself included) are reminded today that we are only limited by our imaginations when it comes to realizing our dreams. Day after day we can get caught up in the details, issues and tasks that can take our minds away from pursuing our dreams. As Sir Richard Branson captures another dream through Virgin Galactic, what does this make you think about for you and your business? Do you have dreams you are pursuing?

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There is always a new normal after a downturn. Watch the box office.

It can be tough to keep your head on straight when life seems to be crumbling down around you. The financial crash of 2018/2019 was a tough time for many entrepreneurs. COVID has been very difficult for many entrepreneurs. Notwithstanding the difficult moments an entrepreneur might find themselves in, a new normal always sets in after a downturn. Sometimes the new normal means more change that many can’t keep up with and sometimes the new normal sets the stage for new success. As you look around the market and evaluate your new normal, what does it look like and how will your business continue to benefit from the changes that have occurred?

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No more lines of credit says Wells Fargo. Expect the unexpected.

Nothing is guaranteed in life. Being responsible for an active business that is relied upon by customers, vendors and employees alike means being ready for anything. If you can learn to expect the unexpected you will always be in a position of directing your own outcomes. Many entrepreneurs can be caught off guard when circumstances change and end up taking a defensive position which doesn’t always help them deal productively with the outcomes. Entrepreneurs should always be ready.

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