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Entrepreneurs of Britain - Don't Let Them Downgrade Your Confidence!

02/06/2013 20:50 BST | Updated 31/07/2013 10:12 BST

Eight reasons why you can still grow your business 10x

Times are still tough for many of Britain's business owners.

News that the Fitch credit ratings agency downgraded the UK to AA+ owing to 'a weakened economic outlook' or that Britain escaped a triple-dip recession by the skin of its teeth only makes it harder for the nation's business owners to feel optimistic about the future.

Or does it?

At the start of 2013, Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google, went on record to state his unwavering belief in the value of aiming bigger and better, and he means 10 times better!

You might say, 'OK, that's all well and good. He's the CEO of Google. I'm not.'

But that would be missing the point.

When Mr. Page talks about 'why moon shots matter', he's not talking about the capital his company has, how advanced its products are, or how dominant it is in the marketplace.

He's talking about attitude.

Over and over again, I've seen with my own clients and my own business what a difference that kind of attitude makes.

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What follows is the eight most significant attitudes and behaviours of those entrepreneurs whom I've seen achieve 10x growth, regardless of the economy, the competition, or the government.

1. Free yourself up to do what you do best.

A key concept to understand is Unique Ability®. It's what you do best. It also tends to be the activity you love doing most - something that actually gives you energy rather than draining it.

10x entrepreneurs are exceptionally good at focusing on their strengths and delegating the rest - ideally to team members whose own areas of Unique Ability include the activity you're delegating!

2. Trust your people, and give them the tools to make the right decisions.

This kind of delegation requires real trust, which isn't, 'I trust you not to mess up', but rather, 'I trust you enough to let you mess up and learn from the experience to get better.'

However, to enable your team members to make the right decisions, you have to invest time documenting and sharing the processes and best practice you learnt from running your business.

3. Think about your time in terms of quality, not quantity.

Entrepreneurs operate in a 'Results Economy', not a 'Time and Effort Economy.' Even if you bill by the hour, you only get paid sustainably if clients are happy with the value you create.

This means shifting your mindset from 'How long am I going to spend on this?' to 'What am I going to achieve?'

4. Focus on your best clients and your passion.

Once you're focusing as much time as possible on what you do best, ask yourself who rewards you best for your time.

Identifying and focusing on the clients you're passionate about and who present the greatest growth opportunity both allows and requires some pruning of high-maintenance, low-value clients.

5. Take more time off. A lot more.

Unless you regularly take what I call Free Days™ - time away from the business where you completely switch off all work-related thinking and activities - it's hard to fulfil your 10x growth potential.

Not only should your family and friends remain a priority no matter what's happening in your life, but real time off is essential to rejuvenate the energy and creative thinking needed to spot and seize truly transformative business opportunities.

6. Look at your customers, not the competition.

It pays to keep an eye on the market and have an awareness of what the competition is up to, but it can become paralysing.

10x entrepreneurs focus a lot more on developing an intimate knowledge of their clients and prospects. What keeps them up at night? What are they excited about? What's happening in their business and lives that they want to improve?

7. Hire teams with the right qualities: alert, curious, responsive, and resourceful.

When you're trying to drive exponential improvement, there's no room for dead weight.

You need people who are alert, curious, responsive, and resourceful; who have a talent for their role; and are on board with the business vision and goals.

It's not easy. You will need to work hard on both finding and attracting these team members. But set these qualities as your standard, and the whole energy of the company can be transformed.

8. Think about what the future would look like if you truly loved your job.

Most business owners set up their business in the first place because they want more freedom.

Yet, many regard the time between now and retirement as a slog, or at best, a marathon, when finally, finally, the hard work will be over and they'll get to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour. But this isn't how 10x entrepreneurs see the future.

If your health were good, your relationships strong, and your business successful, and you were only doing the aspects of 'the job' you found fascinating and inherently motivating, why would you want to stop?

Running a business doesn't have to be a slog. How much more would you look forward to each day, each year if it were 10x more fun or 10x more rewarding?