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How to Gain Respect in Business

It’s not always about owning a fancy car or having your name mounted on the wall of a fifty storey building. You don’t even have to be the CEO of a six-figure empire to gain respect in business. You can start with making just a few small changes with yourself and your attitude toward your business and your network. Four tips in Dale Carnegie’s book The 5 Essential People Skills give you some suggestions on how to gain respect in business. It starts with how you plan your day.

1. Have a busy schedule.

Stay busy. Stay hungry. Be productive. Set daily and weekly goals for yourself and work on achieving those goals for your business. If you aren’t meeting with clients or prospective clients, then look for networking events to attend. Examine your business. Are there aspects of your marketing or sales that you could work on?

Take some time for personal development. Read a book to improve your knowledge. Personal goals can be a part of your professional goals. Keeping healthy and fit are just as important as hitting your sales goals. You can’t enjoy success if you’re sickly. You can’t work hard if you’re constantly fighting fatigue. Plus a healthy body boosts confidence, and confidence is a magnet that draws people toward you.

When you are busy working on your goals, you’re less likely to focus on the negativity that may nag at your conscience. You’ll find it easier to suppress that inner voice that may question your abilities if you accomplish even a small amount every day.

No sound is more dreadful to a new business owner than the sound of silence. It’s so tempting when you finally get an email or a call from a prospective client to jump on it right away. It’s so easy to say, “Yes, I’m free to chat with you right now! Yes, I can start working with you in two hours!”

But you should refrain from responding so fast. Being so eager smacks of desperation and can scare your prospective client away. Think about the last time you walked past a restaurant with only a couple of occupied tables. What were you first thoughts? Compare that to the time you walked past a restaurant with a lineup out the door. What was your opinion then?

Keep busy, stay busy, and look busy. When a prospective client calls to book an appointment to do business with you, flip past those blank pages in your appointment book and say you’re not free til next week.

2. Place yourself in important settings.

Having the right mindset is one way to gain respect. Having the attitude that business will eventually come to you because you possess the right skills is just as crucial. But you also need to place yourself in important settings so you can start building a network.

Look around for networking events where people who are key to your business will be attending. If you have a fitness business, attending an event for gamers would not be as productive business-wise. However, going to an event for people in the food and nutrition business would be a better fit. Of course, a convention for fitness coaches, gym owners, and athletes would probably be the most beneficial for you.

Depending on what you’re looking for, attending a free event may not get you the same results as an event with a $20 or $80 entry fee. Paid events tend to attract more experienced or serious people. They aren’t there out of curiosity, or because they wanted an activity to fill their Thursday night. People who pay to attend are there because they are looking for potential clients, joint venture partners, or people who can refer them to those who can build their business.

Events with hefty price tags are also more likely to attract industry leaders. Being able to rub shoulders with these leaders, or even have them as your mentors will be an asset to your business. We all need strong role models.

3. Spend time in the company of successful, well-regarded people.

We all need role models and mentors, and that includes having peers who inspire us. There is a saying that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Think about how true that is for you.

Consider the goals and aspirations of your five closest friends. What do they aspire to do in their lifetime? What are their plans for their families? What is their income level? If you average out the answers for all these questions, you are probably similar to them. It is rare that you would find an aspiring CEO that is best friends with someone who is content with a lifetime of minimum wage jobs. Similarly, it is almost impossible to find a humanitarian who is best friends with someone who has little regard for other people.

If you want to gain the respect of others in business, surround yourself with successful people. If someone said their mentor is multi-millionaire Dan Lok, how would that affect your perception of them? Or if someone said that they work with Oprah Winfrey, or they are on Tony Robbin’s team, or belong to the same diner’s club as a Fortune 500 CEO, what would you think?

Having these priceless connections is like having a letter of reference, or a recommendation just for your association with them. It’s a reflection on your values and opinions.

4. Keep a neat workspace.

So at this point, you’re looking busy and accomplished. You’re attending events with industry leaders and you’re surrounding yourself with well-respected people. One final tip to getting respect is to keep your workspace tidy. It may sound like a tip from elementary school. But psychology and mindset are a big part of getting yourself ready for success.

For practical reasons, a disorganized workspace will make it challenging to find documents and information. You may even miss a meeting or misplace a file. If clients visit your office, it won’t give a favourable impression.

Keeping your workspace neat and tidy will result in the opposite – better organization and better impressions for clients. But on a psychological level, it will give you a mental boost if you work in a clean environment.


Good fortune cat

I would even suggest adding items that inspire you to reach your goal. Asians favor the good fortune cat to encourage money to come your way. Some like a leather chair to have that feeling of elegance.

However, this mental inspiration can be as simple as having all your office stuff organized with colour-coded stickies, pens, and file folders. Or a smiling photo of your spouse. Or kids. Or both. Whatever it takes to remind you why you got your business started in the first place.

These are just four tips  to get you started on gaining you respect in business. Earning the respect of others is not a magical moment that can happen overnight. They can have a high opinion of you to start with, but like a blossoming plant, nurturing and keeping that respect will take time.

Do you have suggestions on how to gain respect in business? Please share in the comments section!

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