[Think Like An Entrepreneur Thursday] Ep 2 - Three Qualities of Successful People

So many people want to start businesses and be what they feel is successful.  However, they get caught up in the thought process that it takes either being privileged, super smart, or luck, to get that place where you can ‘have it all’.

It’s none of those things, though.  Not even close.  There are three things that successful people have learned (and it’s learned, not just born into them) to master, in order to stand above the rest.

1. Learn to embrace fear - Most of the times when people really want to do something, but when they get scared of all the unknown or thinking about failure they back away.  However, if it’s something you really want to do and you know it’s going to be something that will push you to the next level, then the successful person learns that they have to actually do it in order to get on the other side.

Every time I’ve learned to do that, I get on the other side and realize that it’s not that...
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[Think Like An Entrepreneur Thursday] What To Do Once You Have a Business Idea

So many people get great ideas for a business, but then the get stuck on the whole idea of what to do next.  It’s honestly overwhelming.  However, entrepreneurship isn’t any different than anything else you take on.  You get the major questions answered, and then you figure it out as you go. 

Here are three things to do once you get that idea you’re really excited about, and how to begin moving forward with making it a reality.

First, start researching to see if anyone has your business idea.  Now even if someone does, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t start your business.  If no one has one, that could also be a good thing/bad thing because they it might mean that there isn’t a market for what you’re doing.  Even if there is someone out there, it means there is a market for it.  Your job then becomes to find out what makes you different and how you can find your ‘in’.

Second,...

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Life is Too Short

It’s been quite a week.  A type of week I've never had to process.

A week where my grandmas died.  Both of them 95 years old, and they literally died a week from each other, almost exactly to the minute.

I know this doesn't seem business related, but it is.  Let me explain…..


I’ve been blessed in so many ways.  I mean I haven’t lost anyone important in my life for over 30 years.  The most crushing loss I’ve had since then was my dog, Baxter, a few years ago.

These deaths weren’t created equal, though.

You see last week’s death was my real grandmother.  She was my father’s mom.  A woman I wanted nothing to do with, but unfortunately I was forced to.  She was mean, horrible, and treated my mother like crap.  She also made it be known I was not her favorite, not even close.  I was always made to feel more like a second class citizen rather than part of the family.

When I was 16, I slowly...

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The One Thing You Must Master as an Entrepreneur

Have you ever had one of those days where you look at the clock, and it's already 6 pm?  Instead of closing your computer with another successful day behind you, you ask yourself 'where did the day just go, and what did I even get done?!'

I, unfortunately, was having way too many of those.  I've been investing in real estate for almost 17 years.  I bought my first house at 22, and have been learning how to rent and leverage ever since.  Overall, it's been a good experience, but between repairs, difficult tenants, and new city rules, etc, I realized it was taking up too much time.  Plus, after reading the book Essentialism (one I highly recommend), I realized two things.

  1. Even the smallest of time and energy was going to something that wasn't serving me
  2. .I was emotionally investing.

I won't get into the emotional part, but what I do want to talk about today is mastering your time.

Here's a perfect example of what happened this morning.  I have a tenant...

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Stop Asking For Permission

I'm not 100% sure I know what I'm doing.

I need to learn just a little more before I can officially make this happen.

There's someone doing something similar, and I'm not as good as them.

What if <fill in any negative blank here> happens?

Do any of these sound familiar when you're getting ready to take on something, whether it be a business or even a new job?  As much as I would love to tell you that I know all of these things because I hear them from clients, the truth of the matter is, that I've said them at least once fifty times to myself.

We all go through this.

Every.  Single. One. Of. Us.

I've said this many times before, but I think it's important to realize that the only thing standing between you and the person who actually made it happen, is that they just decided to make it happen.  They didn't know more, weren't more prepared, or didn't wait long enough for something lucky to fall from the sky.  They just made it happen.

Last month I...

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Lesson 10 - Every Business is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

I talked about this some in Lesson 2.  As excited as you are to get your business out to the world, it's going to be hard for people to listen, let alone respond.

Starting a new business is exciting and fun, and even though you know you can help, and really help, anyone who buys your product, the fact is, it's not going to happen over night.

I can also tell you with great certainty that anyone who claims to be an overnight success, isn't.  There has been some work behind the scenes.  There has been some trial and error, and although it feels like their business appeared from nowhere, it didn't.

You have to be willing to be in this for the long haul, or you just won't succeed.  If you're looking for a quick buck, then entrepreneurship probably isn't your game.  Stay in Corporate America where you'll be guaranteed a paycheck in at least a few weeks.

Do I wish I would have had more people at my first event?  Absolutely.  Was it one of the hardest...

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Lesson 9 - Know Your Customers - As In Study Everything You Can

This is one I see so many people miss when it comes to building their business.  They take a guess at who their customer is and then hope their guess is close to right.  Or they make it really broad in that they want to help everyone scared that they're going to possibly miss that one person who might be interested.

As I started this, I thought I could utilize my existing audience from The Starters Club.  However, as I began laying out the content I wanted, and the focus of the event, I soon realized that wasn't going to happen.

So not only did I have to build an event by scratch, I had to start from scratch on everything!!!

I actually sat with someone today over coffee, and he asked me about the marketing, and how I pulled it off in such a short amount of time.

The answer was simple...

I was a mad Facebook and LinkedIn Ads machine.  It wasn't a set it and go, it was a set it, study it, tweak it, and then study it again.

I fell asleep thinking about ads,...

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Lesson 8 - Stop Waiting and Take Action

I had the idea of putting on an event in the back of my mind for a while, but I was afraid to take action.  Plus, as much as I have worked with other businesses and built my own, I still had myself convinced this wasn't capable of taking on.

I saw the need for an event like this.  As much as I wanted something like this to happen, I was secretly sitting back waiting for someone else to do it.  I just didn't consider myself someone special enough to put this all together.

What made me finally do it?

Well, I started talking to enough people about why I wanted to do it, and why I was considering it, that I finally decided I needed to stop doing and start taking action.  I put it out there to enough people, and I didn't want to seem like everyone who else who talks a big game but never does anything about it.

Maybe there was a little bit that I was scared of people's perception of me, but I guess if that means making something big happen, then I'm okay with that.

...

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Lesson 5 - Know Your Strengths, But Stop Labeling Yourself

I have lived most of my life telling myself that I'm not great at sales.  My first real 'sales' job was at The Buckle, the clothes store that worked strictly off commission.  I had my moments of greatness, but I wasn't a sales person who was on 100% of the time like my manager always seemed to be.

However, when I use something that I love or believe in, I have no problem selling that to anyone who comes across my path.   So the question really does become am I sales person or not?

I've been able to sell.  I've had to be able to sell.  Without being able to sell I would have never built my businesses.  However, I would say following up and cold calling are two very weak qualities for me.

As a business owner, I believe it's crucial that you know what you're great at and do more of that.  If you're in the position where you can hire what you're bad at, do that.  However, sometimes we may not have that luxury.  I did have someone join me on a...

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Lesson 3 - Stand Firm on Integrity, Beliefs, and Your Value

If there's anything that has made me the proudest of putting this event together, it's this lesson right here.

Starting a business is hard, and getting customers to pay for your service or product can be a huge challenge.  There always seems to be, what I like to call a deal with the devil, around every corner.  Those are the people who see the value in the product, but they have no desire to pay what you're asking.  They want a discount of some sort.

And I've learned this too many times to falter from it.

They will always be your biggest pain in the ass clients, period.

I learned this lesson the hard way in my first business.  When people wanted something just one-off of what I offered, I would make the exception.  However, even though they were supposed to be less work, they always ended up being more.

I had a huge realization that I have lived by since then.  It's disrespectful to those who are valuing what you offer.  So who are you...

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