3 Tips on How To Be Successful in Business
In 2002 my 22 year old wife wife and I were reeling from a failing business venture and looking forward to my return to real estate. My real estate license had expired and I was forced to retake courses to renew my license which meant I had about a 6-8 month period of no income.
Tip #1 – You gotta eat.
I am the eternal optimist, but I knew we’d need money so I started brushing up on my resume and took it to several temp agencies. I was either over-qualified or under-qualified because I didn’t get one cal back.
I found out about a graveyard front desk patient registration position at the Pacific Alliance Medical Center in Chinatown Los Angeles, which happened to be the same hospital I was born in when it was the French Hospital.
I would work from 10 PM to 6 AM. I loved the people I worked with and I loved the environment but I hated the job. I only took it because I had mouths to feed and it didn’t interfere too much with my entrepreneurial endeavors from 12 Noon to 8 PM at night.
Where am I going with this? I am all for the “backs to the wall” and “burn the boats” mentality, but with those methods come the threat of operating from a position of desperation and I have seen one too many entrepreneurs who could have been great make poor decisions when the are relegated to this position for too long. In real estate we call it “commission breath.”
Bottom line? You gotta eat. Find a job (no matter how beneath your standards it may feel) that won’t disrupt your dream by day and will still put food on the table. Many a success story has had to do this.
Tip #2 – A Disappointment is not a Devastation.
I think the biggest misconception that many an entrepreneur make is that the road to success is a straight shot. The truth, it’s anything but that. It’s a winding, loop-de-loop, forward, backward race to the finish the line and to make things better, someone else’s roadmap may not (probably WILL NOT) work for you. Success does leave clues, but everyone’s journey is their own. If you are going through some rough times, it’s par for the course.
In late 2002 Our Ford Explorer was repossessed and all we had was my Mercedes SLK320 two seater coupe. That car was the last bastion of “success” I had from my last entrepreneurial attempt. We didn’t have enough money for a new car, and for a 6 month period, my wife, our two eldest children, and our chihuahua drove around in a two-seater convertible. The children had to huddle in the passenger leg room of the car. It wasn’t uncommon for us to tell the kids to “DUCK! There’s police!” which then resulted in our 4 year old son Sebas, referring to police officers as “Ducks.” I’ll never forget the first time I heard him say, “Hide! The ducks are coming!”
To make matters better, my car was eventually booted as evidenced in the first photo of this blog. That was a very depressing day and I took the photograph of the boot to serve as a reminder that I would never let something like that happen to me again.
You will go through challenges. You will fail at some things. Some of your ideas won’t work out. It’s okay. You can spend your life trying to avoid failure, or you can accept that it’s part of the process. My wife will often ask my children, “Is this a disappointment or a devastation?” when they suffer setbacks and it usually puts things into perspective for them. Too often we treat disappointments as devastations. Getting our car repossessed? Disappointment. Getting my car booted? Disappointment. My father being murdered in 1996? Temporary devastation.
Tip #3 – Race Your Race
Everyone, through the grace of God, has received distinct talents and blessings. If God had intended for you to be a Scientist, he would have equipped you with the gifts to be one. Let me put it this way: if you had a 4X4 truck and your dream was to race it in the Monaco Grand Prix, how well would you perform in the race? Not well. You already know why. The truck wasn’t designed for speed. It was designed for something else.
You were put on this earth for a reason, and once you discover that reason, you will also discover unique talents that only you have. It has been said that the two most important moments in your life are when you are born and when you discover why [the reason]. God has placed inside of you everything you will ever need to reach your full potential.
I look forward to hearing you share the obstacles you’ve overcome. Celebrate every little victory on your journey.
Just. Don’t. Quit.