There are probably thousands if not millions of business lessons you may have heard or read. In truth, there is nothing new under the sun. The same business lessons you heard yesterday are mostly the same ones you will read tomorrow. The only change you should expect is “words” and stories.

Successful entrepreneurs share their experiences with different crowds and readers all the time, but their success stories are different. These are  a few of the business lessons I have heard and read over and over again. These lessons have led to many different success stories in the past and will continue to guide most entrepreneurs and businesses of the future.

1. Pursue your ambitions passionately!

The single most important key to a perfect business career is to set goals and work towards it passionately.  Make an informed decision about what you want to do and give it your maximum attention. An Informed risk now will benefit you in the future if you don’t give up. Find out what you are good at and set goals to achieve it.

2. Strive for balance between professional and personal commitments.

One of the most difficult things for most entrepreneurs to do is striking for balance between professional and personal commitments. It’s a difficult goal to achieve because the more passionate ones enjoy doing what they do so much that it takes almost all their time. Strive for balance, you may not achieve it, but at least try.

3. An excellent idea with poor execution is a lost stake!

Cash problems kill more young companies than all other causes put together. But what could also be killing most startups is  an excellent idea with a poor execution plan. Poor execution  is a fundamental cause of failure in any business or venture. You need smart hires and a great team right from the beginning to get the work done. Hire smart today.

4. Respect the customer’s right to make their own decisions.

One thing customers hate is a bad product with spam marketing. You don’t want to be labelled as that business that gets in the face of customers. Present your product in the perfect way possible and give prospective customers the room to make their choice. Don’t deceive your customers to buy product, if you are not genuine, it will show up along the way.

5. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for business!

Don’t just rely on marketing to get you your business. It’s about time you picked up the phone and talk to prospective clients and ask for their business. What is the worst thing that could happen- a rejection?

Ask that successful entrepreneur you know and you will know rejection comes with being an entrepreneur.  You can never get what you don’t ask. Give it a try  today. Ask for a business with conviction.

6. Be judiciously generous with your time, energy, wisdom, contacts and skills!

Mentoring and leading may not offer you immediate financial return, but they mark a person as committed to giving as taking. There is more to sharing than just asking.

Start a business blog, share success stories, advice your customers, inform your leads, educate your customers and freely give away tips. Asking for business begins with trust. Somebody wants to trust you- make it count.

7. Patience builds trust. Trust closes deals.

Sincerely take care of your customers first and you will be taken care of as a by-product. Everybody wants to be treated right and respect. Show respect to your clients, don’t put them on hold. Answer your social questions. Invest in customer service. Give them a reason to trust you.

9. Treat your customers like royalty and your employees like customers.

Treat your staff, your boss, your peers, your customers and your vendors in the manner you wish to be treated. A healthy environment encourages creativity. The last thing you need in a business environment is hostility.

Your office is almost your second home. How do your colleagues feel when they get to work. If they can’t wait to close from work immediately they get there, there is something wrong-fix it.

10. Stop managing and start initiating change that will improve productivity.

You hired smart people to do their jobs. Give them room to do their work without constant pressure. If you operate on milestones and deadline basis, I don’t see why they should be be bothered. Trust that your employees will deliver and give them the resources to deliver on time.

11. Your only asset with any true long-term value is your reputation.

Protect your reputation for its the reason some of your clients are still in business with you. Your reputation should speak for itself. A reputation is like trust, it grows over the years but can be ruined in seconds. A damaged reputation is difficult to restore.

If your reputation has taken a hit, do not ignore it, fix is now. No one is immune from reputation attacks, take responsibility for your mistakes and do better next time.

What is the most important timeless business lesson you have learned in recently?

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