Choose your country

Or view all businesses for sale


A universal formula for business success

ThinkstockPhotos 163713914

They say there is no one formula that fits everyone – there is no single way to run a successful business. However, there is a simple formula that applies to almost every aspect of business.

It is one of the first things that we at The London Coaching Group teach our business coaching clients – and it can be a useful tool to get into the right mindset for when you are trying to grow a business to a point where it is saleable or when you are trying to sell or buy business.

That formula is BE x DO = HAVE

In short, what this means is that whatever it is you want - "have" is the product of what it is that you are and the actions that you take.

The reality is that while most of us constantly want to "have" something –  a business that will sell for a high price, or maybe to buy a good business that can be grown – often we do not focus on shifting the "be" and "do" in order to get it.

Learn to "BE" greater…

What is particularly interesting about this formula is that "do" is actually dependant on "be". 

That is, the actions that you end up taking are quite dependent on who you are and what you have learned. This has to do with the identity iceberg, where our behaviour is just that 5% of the iceberg that is above the water. 

That 5% of how you conduct yourself and take action is dependent on the 95% that makes up who you are: your skills, your beliefs, your value system, and, right down at the core, your identity.

Most closely affecting your actions are your skills; the things that you are most comfortable doing are the ones that you are more likely to do more of. However, when you observe what you need to "do" in order to get the things you want, you could end up discovering that you need to start doing things that are outside your comfort zone – and so you are going to have to learn how to do them.

To do that, you need to become better – "be" better. One of the best ways to achieve this is to constantly read. As business coaches in London, we constantly remind our clients to read and learn, often providing relevant books off our own shelves. The knowledge they gain through each book almost always pays off.

Brad Sugars talks about how his business mentor was Jim Rohn, and when he went to get Jim Rohn's signature he asked him, "What is the one piece of advice you can give me to make more money than you?" Jim's reply was, "Read a book every week. When you out-learn me, you will out-earn me."

Brad Sugars has done that – he has read a book every week since that day. Now he owns a worldwide franchise, ActionCOACH with more than 1200 offices in 53 countries.

But it is not just about learning...

While learning is obviously the first step, you will notice that "do" is still necessary in the equation – so to truly succeed you cannot just spend all your time reading and absorbing knowledge. You have to go back to your task and actually implement your learning and "do" it.

Remember, when you are doing these you will be outside your comfort zone. If you want to see massive change, you cannot just tinker with what you have always been doing. You need to exert a bit of effort, endure a bit of discomfort and, yes, even get a little bit stuck. You will be doing things differently from the status quo and that comes with problems – get used to that and, in fact, start enjoying it. Because if those actions are outside your comfort zone, there is a good chance you are doing something that is going to result in more "have".

This is a fairly simple but incredibly poignant formula, and something almost everyone should grasp. Learn how to "be" what you need to be, in order to "do" the things that are necessary to "have" the things that you ultimately want – and that is a formula for success in almost everything.

This article was contributed by The London Coaching Group, the city's top business advisory group, providing their clients with cutting edge strategies for growth and increased profit. If you would like to work with them to establish your current and potential valuation, click here to request it.

Ready to sell? You are just 10 minutes away from advertising your business to 1.3 million prospective buyers. Sell your business today.

Subscribe to our email updates

Sign up to receive the latest advice, most popular businesses, special offers and much more.


I'm interested in is committed to protecting your privacy. We will use the information you provide on this form to send you marketing emails . Find out more about what we do with your information in our Privacy Policy.
Marketing Emails: You will receive newsletters, advice and offers about buying and selling businesses and franchises. We will also send you information about events relating to buying, selling or running a business.

Are you a Business Owner?

Set up your Private Seller Account and create your listing today

Get Started Here

Are you a Business Broker?

Set up your BrokerWeb Account and list multiple businesses

Get Started Here