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11 Things Small Business Owners Can Learn From Michael Dell

1. Think Big ? In college, Michael Dell said he wanted to "beat IBM." While you may not desire to take your small business to such heights, be sure not to limit what you might achieve.

2. Draw Your Own Map ? Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson?each took a different approach to doing better what someone else was doing. Blaze your own trail to success.

3. Learn From Mistakes ? Every company makes big ones ? including Dell ? and the best use mistakes as opportunities to grow and improve their people, products and services.

4. Simplify ? Great leaders have a great ability to break big things into small parts. Share your vision and the steps for getting there with your small business team?in language they understand.

5. Read ? Michael Dell said, "Just work to understand the world around you. Read books. Read websites. Read other people...then build a vision of how it could all be better?"

6. Open New Doors ? Dell continues to innovate?offering cameras, printers, MP3 players, TVs and other electronics. Look for ways to increase what you provide current and future customers.

7. Cultivate Relationships ? "There's no such thing as a self-made success," Michael Dell said. The best opportunity you have to grow your small business is by widening your network.

8. Seek Harmony ? Michael Dell is married with four children, and, when asked about his legacy, said, "That this is a guy who was a great dad and a great husband."

9. Strategize ? With 40,000 employees, Michael Dell admits his ability to impact any other area besides strategy is relatively small. Take time to think about the direction of your small business, because no one knows how to get there better than you.

10. It's All About Winning ? Not about victory over opponents, Michael Dell said; it's about winning the "contest with your own potential" to achieve all you can in life.

11. Don't Be The Smartest Person In The Room ? "And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people?or find a different room," said Michael Dell. Surround yourself with talented people.

Copyright © 2005 by Success Handler, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Coach, David Handler, is the founder of Success Handler, (, and specializes in helping small business leaders find clarity and take action. He understands the challenges of running a business, because he's been there ? as a small business owner, franchisee, franchisor, corporate leader and trainer. Much like sports coaches, his coaching will show you how to compete on a level playing field in your industry.

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