Growth & Customers

Ambition in business: How vision, positivity and determination can drive you

Ambition in business is an important piece of the puzzle for driving success as a company owner. But how far has ambition taken you when it comes to growing your business? What are your ambitions for your company and where do you see it in one, five or 10 years?

The ambition you have for your business can drive you to succeed – something that can be essential when dealing with the many challenges you’ll face as you run your company. But what sort of impact does ambition in business have on your fellow entrepreneurs and business owners?

In April, Sage hosted a Twitter discussion with a number of influential people in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) world on the topic of business ambition. The idea was to engage with experts and business owners alike to find out how they envision ambition and what we can do to help each other achieve our goals.

A number of the Sage Top 100 global business influencers for 2017 joined the conversation and offered their advice on ambition, where it comes from for them and what you can do to channel it so you can be as successful as possible. Here’s what they had to say.

Where does your ambition stem from?

“Ambition should always be focused on positive results and tempered by professionalism. Overzealous behaviour can certainly cause issues but the key is to remain focused on positive business results.” Eric Kavanagh @eric_kavanagh

“It comes from having a mission to transform business leadership around the world. Helping the world develop the next generation of serving leaders.” Tripp Braden @TrippBraden

What skills have helped you to succeed?

Can you be humble in business?

“If it’s genuine, yes. If forced, it can show a lack of authenticity and turn colleagues/employees off.” Andy McFetrich @AndyMacRecruits

“You must be humble in business. You must always realise that without customers, you don’t have a business. So, serve them well.” Shep Hyken @Hyken

Is it the process or the goal that drives you?

“It’s the transformation, the outcome. It’s making a huge impact on people’s lives. It is one of the most powerful and humbling things one human being can do for another.” Ian Knowlson @IanKnowlson

Will your current role take you where you want to go?

“I used to think a lot about five-year plans but now not so much. Too many things come along and wreck plans in good and bad ways. Now I focus on making sure in the day to day I am energised, learning and creating.” Jon Reed @jonerp

“How you approach your current situation will determine where it will take you. Always make the most of things in a positive way and learn from every experience. Even in tough times. There are elements that will help you achieve your ambition.” Mark Abrami @MarkAbrami

Is expanding across the continent a viable option in 2018?

What advantages do SMEs have over their larger competitors?

“With larger companies, there tends to be a larger group for buy in on ideas. Things get caught up in the grey area and waiting for sign off.” Lisa Pattenden @London_lady

“Speed and agility of decision-making. The ability to make a timely decision, execute it and drive towards the outcome promptly is hugely valuable. SMEs can often get closer to their customers, creating both business and emotional relationships in the process and that’s gold, right when your customers are invested in your business because your success is also their success.” Steven John @SJTechGuy

Is Brexit an opportunity in disguise?

“There’s always an opportunity somewhere. I think there are cases where Brexit will make things more of a challenge but it will probably mean having to look at alternative opportunities.” Paul Ince @BizPaul

“Any change has an element of opportunity within it. Think of it as a stone that falls on the ground – it inherently creates new spaces and gaps owned and filled in. It’s up to us to see the opportunities presented by Brexit and jump on them.” Sonia Rosua-Clyne @soniarosuaclyne

When it comes to business, how small is too small and how big is too big?

Final thoughts on ambition in business

Quality matters more than quantity, seizing opportunities, making an impact on other lives and having a positive, responsive, aware outlook. All of these attributes contribute to empowering you and your business goals. If you allow yourself to think forward, then that’s where you’ll end up.

What are your thoughts on ambition in business? Where do you hope yours will take you? Let us know in the comments below and follow the #sagetop100 on Twitter for the global business influencers’ updates and thoughts.

Ambition In Action

Want to grow your business but struggling to do so? Download this free e-book for advice from Peter Jones and the winner and finalists of the Sage Ambition competition who faced challenges and overcame them using their business ambition.

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