40 Ideas to build on for business success

Dear Friends, Clients and Colleagues: I am extremely pleased to have been honored as one of the “40 Under Forty” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal for 2009. This award is especially meaningful because it reinforces the importance of leadership, entrepreneurial vision, and creativity. It’s every company’s goal. It’s an elaborate process, requiring continual momentum. In celebration, I would like to share 40 ideas to build on for continued business success.
Blake Nelson, Attorney

  1. Have a plan –  identify your goals, but keep it simple.
  2. Know thyself –  examine what you enjoy doing and focus your efforts.
  3. Know thy customer –  understand their needs and expectations.
  4. Don’t make the same mistake twice –  learn from lessons of the past.
  5. Be nimble –  respond to new opportunities quickly.
  6. Invest in your employees –  develop the best talent, and put the right people in the right jobs.
  7. Think differently –  be creative and open to new approaches.
  8. Deliver outstanding client service –  go above and beyond every time.
  9. Be different –  stand out from the competition.
  10. Keep your promises –  do what you say you are going to do, and do it on time.
  11. Invest in a good web site –  the Internet is the new yellow pages.
  12. Be curious –  ask questions and find solutions.
  13. Invest in technology –  get organized, then take advantage of it.
  14. Make new friends and keep the old –  don’t burn bridges.
  15. Work with enthusiasm –  it’s contagious.
  16. Be visible –  raise your business profile in the community and on the Internet.
  17. Lead with a vision –  provide clear objectives and expectations.
  18. Always take the high road –  the straight way is the only way.
  19. Seek peace –  be brave enough to talk when lesser people want to fight.
  20. Don’t be cocky –  never underestimate your competition or opponent.
  21. Work smart –  you can’t do it all, so delegate.
  22. Write it down –  keep a comprehensive to-do list or you will forget something.
  23. Prepare a sound bite –  write and memorize your 30-second elevator speech.
  24. Be memorable –  have three things to say when you meet people.
  25. Share the wisdom –  pass your knowledge on to others.
  26. Refer business to others –  what goes around comes around.
  27. Put clients at your fingertips –  categorize your contacts in a user-friendly format.
  28. Be easy to reach –  encourage people to download your V-card from your e-mail or bio.
  29. Over plan –  you can never be too prepared.
  30. Be decisive and flexible –  make decisions, but be willing to admit when you are wrong.
  31. Know what you don’t know –  continually keep learning, but hire others as needed.
  32. Listen carefully –  don’t just hear, but understand.
  33. Do more than expected –  provide added value, just for the joy of it.
  34. Go with your gut –  always trust your instincts.
  35. Walk the talk –  demonstrate your passion for your business in everything you do.
  36. Be persistent –  where there is a will there is a way, so find it.
  37. Stay centered –  find balance in work, family, and play.
  38. Focus on the future –  plan for success and be ready for growth.
  39. Appreciate your clients –  thank people for doing business with you.
  40. Stay fresh –  never stop thinking like an entrepreneur!