How to succeed in business

(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of monthly columns by members of the Town of Red Hook Economic Development Committee, a volunteer advisory group that promotes businesses and services that provide jobs and help diversify and broaden the tax base. The EDC’s nine members are local farmers, business people, entrepreneurs and professionals.)

By Todd Baright

Having been an entrepreneur for over 30 years, I have often wondered what elements make a small business thrive. I really had to narrow it down, from the hundreds of little things that all seem so important, to the top six on my list. I define both success and happiness as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal or goal.

1) Integrity. People of integrity are trustworthy because they base their decisions on moral and ethical principles. They have values worthy of a person of good character. They do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it.

2) A long-time perspective. Those with a long-time perspective look into the future as far as they can to determine the kinds of people they want to become and the goals they want to achieve. To be successful, make sure that everything you do in the short-term is consistent with what you seek in the long-term.

3) We become what we think about. We move toward our dominant thoughts. If you think in negative terms, you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms, you will get positive results. In three words: believe and succeed.

4) Do the right thing, right now. Discipline yourself to do what is right and necessary, before you do what is fun and easy. Do what you should do, when you should do it, even when you don’t feel like it. Consider that bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with. Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.

5) Worthy goals. Goals are the seeds of success and you become only what you plant. People with goals are more likely to succeed because they have a plan. They know where they are going. Worthy goals lead to worthy ideals. Establish the best goals you can, write them down, identify the obstacles, determine the knowledge, skills and people you will need to make your goals happen. Make a plan, take purposeful action, visualize your goal continuously and stay committed. Never give up!

6) Time management. A core discipline that has a huge impact on your quality of life is time management. Time is perishable; once it’s gone or wasted, you cannot get it back. Spending time wisely requires planning and prioritizing. Continually decide to move your time usage from areas of low value to areas of high value. Stop procrastinating. If it’s important and urgent, get to it and get it done. Improve your time management by making a list, prioritizing that list, then committing to first things first. By completing major tasks, you will feel happy, positive, alert and ready to move forward.

Todd Baright and his brothers own the Foam & Wash car washes and Baright Realty. He has lived in Red Hook for more than 40 years.

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