Many entrepreneurs are continually struggling to build their businesses with little to show for it. That could change in a flash for those who know and apply seven natural laws that work behind the scenes to determine whether a business endeavor will succeed or fail. Just as a sailboat must work with the winds to reach its destination, so too must business leaders work with these natural laws to achieve their goals. For businesses that are not performing at their best, consider which of these laws you might be missing.
1. The law of oneness
In the Western world, many think that people are separate from those around them. This false belief causes individuals to engage in anxiety-inducing rivalry and comparison with others. In this context, businesses fail when they focus on beating the competition, rather than creating the best possible product or service.
Even the phrase "beating the competition" is misguided. It requires believing that there is a limited or fixed amount of success in the first place. The truth is that there's plenty enough to go around.
The primary goal should be to serve as the rising tide that lifts all boats. Always search for the win-win scenario, not the one in which we win at the cost of others.
2. The law of cause and effect
As Isaac Newton noted, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Every decision individuals make, everything they create, everything they do, will have some effect. Every problem encountered and every success achieved are the result of a series of causes.
Simple, right? In theory, of course. But, in practice, individuals need to work in order to refine their filters. Seek to build the skill of being able to identify true root causes -- of good and not so good outcomes. Commit to testing and tinkering to figure out what "causes" create the "effects" desired.
Amazon is a trailblazer for collecting and using data to create the outcomes it wants. Rather than resting on its laurels, it continually tests and analyzes past data to grow its online presence and uses predictive analytics to keep itself at the market forefront.
3. The law of giving
The proverb "give and you shall receive" communicates one of the most important truths in life and in business. To succeed in business, especially in competitive spaces, give more than anyone else. Business leaders must ask questions such as:
- How can I deliver more value today?
- How can I give more than I did yesterday?
- How do we increase views/leads/sales?
- How do we capture more of the market?
The paradox here is that the law of giving requires giving for giving's sake, not in order to receive something in return. Give from a deep place. Give from the heart because it's the right thing to do, without expectation for what karmic forces will come back your way.
Companies like Starbucks and Whole Foods are known for giving back to their own communities and to the communities from whom they source their products.
4. The law of non-resistance
When people resist anything in life or business, they can feel it both physically and emotionally. They become lethargic. They feel tight. They feel pain. Nothing seems to feel "right."
When they learn to operate within the flow of the universe, they are bound to be more successful. This can be difficult to do, because to some extent people must learn to "let go," and allow things to unfold, rather than as result in the outcome they seek.
Kodak, the industry leader in camera and film for 100 years, was forced to file bankruptcy in 2012 not because it lacked the digital photo technology, but because of its inability to "go with the flow." Though Kodak created the digital photo technology and one of the first online photo sharing sites, it did so only with an eye to sell more film and print photos. Because of its white-knuckled grasp on print photography, it could not envision a future beyond it. Meanwhile, its distant competitor Fuji gained market share by fervently explored new opportunities, branching into film, videotape and copy machines.
5. The law of detachment
Every individual is in control of their own intent, energy and work ethic. Similarly, everyone is in control of what they choose to do and how they choose to do it. In other words, every person is like the captain of his or her own ship and is responsible for navigating it based on the choices and decisions one makes.
But, at the end of the day, like the captain of any ship, there are forces that individuals can't control, just like the tides and the winds. Being attached to an outcome is living in a conditional future. It's clutching, clawing and grasping for something that may never come.
Sales professionals have long known that, in order to close more sales, they must be detached from the outcome. As Phil Jackson told his team during the 1998 NBA Finals, "Chop wood, carry water." In other words, do your tasks consistently, and let the outcome take care of itself.
6. The law of creation
Everyone has the power to create. Ideas. Relationships. Businesses. Books. Videos. Movies. Yet, many are stuck in "reaction mode." It's easy to be passive and respond to everyone else's requests, but not make the time or space to create what each person really wants. It's time to regain the power to create and not settle for the crumbs that fall from someone else's agenda.
Everyone has access to creation. It is the tool each person has to make a difference in the world. Humans were born to create. And when they do, they connect at a much deeper level with their true nature.
Apple distinguishes itself from other companies that similarly make computers, tablets and cellphones, by its creator culture. Apple does not merely make and improve products in response to customers' requests. Rather, it creates the ideal customer experience from the ground up and then builds a fan base of diehard consumers around it.
7. The law of intention
In business, intention often goes by the name of a plan or a strategy. It's designed to communicate to investors, stakeholders and employees what to expect in the next quarter, year, three years and beyond.
It doesn't matter whether every goal is achieved completely. What matters more is having the goal in the first place. Having intention is about getting in the car with an idea of a specific destination. The best way to get there might not be clear. The traveling time might be dependent on a variety of variables, but what counts is the target or objective. It's having a vision and pursuing it.
It's all about mastery
Mastering these seven natural laws takes work and practice. But, it's worth it. Not only will applying these lead to greater success but also more fulfillment as well. And, who doesn't want that?
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.