Three Business Hacks for Operating at a Higher Level

Please enjoy this guest blog from Ann Quinn, who shares three of the philosophies that have made a difference in her success as a business leader and entrepreneur.

The end of 2017 is almost here and in between celebrating with family and friends, volunteering with my favorite charities and gearing up for the new year, I’ve been thinking about business hacks.

I realized that the business hacks I rely on most are a mix of habits and strategies that are more complex than a daily to-do list or yet another approach to better manage email, but less formalized and structured than activities like quarterly goal setting or meeting with my peer advisory group.

In fact, my best business hacks are really philosophies that help me operate at a higher level.

Even though they began as very deliberate, conscious thoughts, they have now become organic and natural – simply the way I do business.

Below are a few of the hacks that have become core to my success. I hope you’ll give them a try and I’d love to hear about your high-level business hacks as well – and how you’ve managed to integrate them into how you do business.

Try out one or all of my business hacks for operating at a higher level and see if they don’t make a significant difference in your success.

Hack #1: Be Wrong

We spend so much time trying to avoid being wrong or making a blunder. This is a mistake and a real limit to growth. There’s nothing bad about being wrong unless you don’t learn from it. So, be wrong, make mistakes and learn from them. Know that every time you admit you’re wrong, you grow as a business person. I like to think that I make lots of mistakes, but I rarely make the same mistake twice.

Hack #2: Be Lazy, Find Your Multiplier

In order to grow your business exponentially (rather than incrementally), you have to find a multiplier. In other words, an opportunity, idea and/or trend that you can piggyback on and therefore expand your business more quickly. This frees up your mind from constantly trying to figure out what to do next – and you can put your focus on your longer term picture, thinking about options that are perhaps more difficult and less obvious. For example, in the organizations I work with most there’s been a tremendous amount of leadership transition as baby boomers retire. This trend provides a great opportunity for me to work with clients on strategy during transition. In the past year, I’ve developed significant expertise in this area and these engagements have been financially, professionally and personally rewarding – I really love the work. I can continue to piggyback on this trend, applying skills that are already well within my wheelhouse as I put my brainpower toward finding that next great idea.

Hack #3: Don’t Make More Time

You can always decide to make more money, but you literally can’t make more time. It’s finite – and it’s your most valuable asset. Instead of making more time, focus on making much more of the time you have. While this is a business hack I still haven’t perfected, I do set daily and quarterly goals to help me determine how best to spend my time and energy. When I keep my goals in mind, I find it’s much easier to spend my work time on those activities that represent my highest use and value. In short, I waste less time on activities that simply don’t have a high enough payoff. I’ve been in business long enough to know that if I spend my time on work that represents my highest use and value, the money will follow.