The Green Sheet Online Edition
November 25, 2013 • Issue 13:11:02
Six essentials for business leaders
It takes a leap of faith to establish an ISO or to become a merchant level salesperson (MLS) in the payments industry. Mustering the resolve and resources to start a business is a major step; however, it's just the beginning of what is required to build a thriving payment career.
To succeed, payment professionals must have an entrepreneurial mindset and be prepared to do certain things repeatedly, such as take risks, be committed, be decisive, take failure in stride, adapt to change and take responsibility. All of us are strong in some areas and weak in others. As you read through the following notes on these key actions, think about where you have attained mastery and where you could stand to improve.
1. Take risks
It is the ability to see opportunities as they arise and take the risks needed to profit from them that distinguishes outstanding business leaders from their mediocre counterparts. Playing it safe once your business is off the ground might guarantee a certain level of monthly residuals, but it will not lead to prosperity and dreams fulfilled.
2. Be committed
Once you have chosen your path, you must stick with it. Other business opportunities might arise. If they are compatible with and enhance your objectives, it makes sense to explore them. But if they drain resources from your primary goals, it makes sense to leave them behind.
3. Be decisive
Being able to assess options, decide what to do and then take the requisite follow-up actions is an essential skill in a business leader. Some entrepreneurs miss opportunities simply because they spend too much time evaluating opportunities, fearing they will make the wrong decisions
4. Take failure in stride
Wise ISOs and MLSs know that when you take measured risks and then act decisively, sometimes you fail. It is what you do afterward that makes or breaks a career. Successful business owners endeavor to understand what led to a failure so they can learn from it, but they do not wallow in regret. They face forward and tackle the next opportunity, knowing they will persist toward their goals no matter how many obstacles they face.
5. Adapt to change
The need to keep tabs on shifting economic conditions, evolving technology, new competitors, merchant demands and changing consumer preferences is uppermost in the minds of today's payment professionals. Educational presentations at industry tradeshows and company training programs, as well as articles in The Green Sheet and other industry publications provide ongoing guidance about changes within the industry and suggestions regarding appropriate actions to take.
6. Take responsibility
When you have a professional setback, it might provide a petty type of satisfaction to direct blame away from yourself. But this sort of deflection is not productive. Debriefing after plans go awry is appropriate so that remedial steps can be taken, if necessary. Pointing the finger at other people, even if they made mistakes, is a waste of time. You are the leader of your enterprise. Accepting that you are ultimately responsible for all that occurs will help your company regain equilibrium and move forward.
If you've realized you are weak in any of these areas, take decisive action today to strengthen your skills. Your future prosperity depends on it.
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