This series is based on an Inc. article by John Rampton, Entrepreneur and Investor: 10 Things You Must Do to Be Successful In Business (and in Life)
MONTHLY | 2023
There have been thousands of books written about what it takes to be successful in business, and thousands more about achieving success in life as well. In this series, we’ll discuss some common themes woven throughout and boil them down to a short list of things that each of us can read, develop and apply in our lives.
This 2023 series will examine:
10 Things You Must Do to Be Successful In Business (and in Life)
JOIN our area business leader, our Members, for ANY or ALL of these candid discussions:
- January: Be Fearless
- February: Understand Finance
- March: Grow as a Leader
- April: Use Your Leverage
- May: Acquire Partners
- June: Amor Fati and Attitude
- July: Amor Fati and Gratitude
- August: Staying Healthy
- September: Keeping the Right Friends
- October: The Importance of Family
In this series, we’ll ask our Executives’ Club Members to:
- share their own positive and negative experiences throughout their careers in each of these 10 areas
- examine their best intentions versus actual practices in each of these areas
- reflect on life lessons and wisdom from their own personal and professional mentors
- discuss best practices and processes from the multitude of business books most of us have read
- teach the techniques and rituals from the multitude of personal and leadership growth programs we’ve each likely pursued
- assist each other as we identify our beliefs, discover our purpose, develop our strategy and clarify our vision
- help each other find fulfillment, significance and happiness in each of these 10 areas
- live the life you choose
Pt 1: BE FEARLESS
Thursday, January 19, 6:30 to 8:00pm @ Grindstone
Want to know why becoming successful in a business venture is considered such a daunting feat by society? While there are obvious hurdles to face, one of the biggest challenges is in overcoming the fear of jumping into a business in the first place. However, this is only the beginning of the road for those who want to be truly successful in business. Overcoming your fears and getting started is noble, but the true tests of a fearless entrepreneur will be constant, from initiating a conversation at a networking mixer, asking for the sale on a major deal, severing ties with a partner who is causing harm to the venture, and perhaps the most frightening of all situations – watching a business fail (it happened to Henry Ford twice before he designed his famous assembly line!) One who can fail miserably and not be scared to dust themselves off and try again and again until they are successful is truly fearless.
Pt 2: UNDERSTAND FINANCE
Thursday, February 16, 6;30 to 8:00pm @ Grindstone
If you want to make it, you’re going to need money.
Robert Kiyosaki is most famous for teaching the world about the importance in how financial literacy plays such a crucial role in the lives of successful entrepreneurs. Those who live from paycheck to paycheck are also those that fill their lives with liabilities – car and house payments, credit cards, and other materialistic things that cost them money. Those who are financially literate, however, understand the importance of building assets – things that make them money instead. Once you start having a positive asset column, you can then learn how to make even more money through investing. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to know how to take money and make it work for you.
Pt 3: GROW as a LEADER
Thursday, March 16, 6:30 to 8:00 @ Grindstone
Once you harness your fears and make the leap to starting a business, you’ve already begun the journey of becoming a leader. As we’ll discuss, your ultimate success will have a lot to do with how you help others find their own. You must learn how to be a leader on some kind of level in order to motivate others to join you in your venture, believe in what you preach, or give you money for a product or service that you offer.
Just because you need to possess leadership qualities does not mean that everybody successful in business has to be the CEO, face of the company, or person “in charge”. When Google started to really grow, the company’s founders brought in a successful CEO in Eric Schmidt to come in and run their company – they were engineers, not CEOs. The ability to lead a team or lead the masses can sometimes come down to just having the right charisma and message to get the right people to do the things that need to be done in order for the entire thing to just work. A great soldier may be good at leading troops on the field, but not managing the entire war. An amazing product designer may also be a lousy salesperson. But a great leader will discover what they do best and where their weakness lies, and know who to put where in order to ensure that their company is one that achieves real success.
Pt 4: USE YOUR LEVERAGE
Thursday, April 13, 6:30 to 8:00pm @ Grindstone
One of the greatest challenges that will stand in the way of an entrepreneur from getting what they want is understanding what “to do” with the opportunities that fall in their laps along the way. This is where leverage becomes such an important concept that people going into business need to understand, and it takes a certain kind of mind to think “outside the box” in situations to find the value in a new relationship or circumstance. The same people who are too scared to quit their day jobs are also the same people who do not know how to leverage the assets and relationships in their life. A successful entrepreneur, on the other hand, is constantly finding ways to create profits and new opportunities each and every day.
The simple adage “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” is a great example of using leverage to move your business forward. Many people will make the lemonade and drink it themselves. A true entrepreneur will make lemonade and sell it to those without lemons, and use the profits to buy more lemons or move into another business. While today a polarizing political figure, Donald Trump is a great example of an entrepreneur who time and time again used leverage to acquire crucial pieces of real estate or strike very lucrative business deals. Love him or hate him, his book The Art of The Deal is a great resource on how leverage can make someone mega successful.
Pt 5: ACQUIRE PARTNERS
Thursday, May 18, 6:30 to 8:00pm @ Grindstone
In order to achieve greatness as a leader, one must have a team of individuals who believe in the mission in order to move forward. That’s where assembling a great team of partners plays such an important role in any profitable business. Many start out alone and the wearer of many hats, but a business can only scale so far if there is only one source of energy, of inspiration, and of the actual sweat equity it takes to keep the lights on.
As we will see in understanding the meaning of success both in business and in life, a true “business owner” is one who does not need to be a part of the day-to-day operations in order for the business to run and stay profitable. The classic book “The E-Myth” is a great story of how many try (and fail) at running a business all by themselves. Instead, you need to take those leadership skills and motivate others to take their own specific skillsets and apply them together as a team for the greater good of the company. This doesn’t just include employees, but also includes knowing who to shake hands with, how to create strategic partnerships, and how to use that leverage we previously discussed to convince others to have an interest in your venture. And once you reach a certain level of success, it will be an even greater feeling when you get to share it with all who helped make it possible.
Pt 6: AMOR FATI and ATTITUDE
Thursday, June 15, 6:30 to 8:00pm @ Grindstone
How do you exactly justify what is true success? Is it money, or sales, or the influence your actions have over the environment around you? Ultimately real success in business only matters if it also equates to success in life, and that all starts with having the right attitude towards it. Nobody cares about those who are rich but hate the world they live in. Everyone knows the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, the jaded old man that had all the money in the world but did nothing but create misery for others.
To have a truly happy and fulfilling life, it’s important to know what’s really important and to develop values around what you can do each and every day to make that world a reality. Sure, many who start a business venture want to achieve a certain level of financial independence. But what does one do with those riches once they finally have them? Those with the attitude that having money means they can buy more “things” to surround themselves with in order to feel superior to others will never be successful in their life. The entrepreneurs who focus on how they can create wealth that can help others and solve problems have the right attitude needed to obtain true happiness and be seen in a positive light by their peers and partners, and are the true embodiment of the word “success”.
Pt 7: AMOR FATI and GRATITUDE
Thursday, July 13, 6:30 to 8:30 @ Grindstone
We live in a world that is changing each and every day, at a speed that any of us can really truly appreciate. Technology over the last 30-50 years has altered the way we communicate not only with our neighbor and loved ones but our business contacts around the world. The generations that have grown up with this technology often take it for granted, never once stopping to “smell the roses” and to realize that they live in an amazing time in history and that much of what they have in their lives – everything from the electricity powering their lights, the cars that help them get to their next meeting, to their smartphones in their pockets are all things they should very much be thankful for.
Those who are happy in both business and if life are those who are grateful for the world they live in. These are the people who make sure to thank the barista for their coffee in the mornings, who open the door for others, who actually listen to those who they have conversations with. Successful entrepreneurs should never forget all the people, places and things that have played a role in their lives that helped them get from their humble beginnings to where they are today. The next time you’re flying on a plane, remember the comedian Louis CK’s amazing observation that you’re “sitting in a chair in the sky”, and be grateful for all the wonderful things we get to experience every day.
Pt 8: STAYING HEALTHY
Thursday, August 17, 6:30 to 8:00 @ Grindstone
Your money and success isn’t going to do you any good if you’re not around to use it – so why would you live your life so dangerously that you would sacrifice your health? What good is all the passion you have for your business dreams if you’re not going to be around to see them come true? Too many of us get caught up in the game of life that we never think about the damage we all do to our bodies along the way. As entrepreneurs our days are so full of work and juggling projects that are lunch breaks become mere small breaks in the day where we shove fast food down our throats to get rid of our hunger.
Our nights turn into a time where we sometimes burn the candles at both ends, turning the stress of the day into an excuse to ease the pain with alcohol and drugs. While we worship the celebrities who died before their time, is that how we define success in life? Our obsession with money and material things makes us greedy and insecure of who we are and how others perceive us. Without our health, we can never truly achieve success. A leader needs to be strong, and we’re not just talking about a lean body or muscles here – your mind has to be healthy in order to persevere through the day and not only achieve the success you’re looking for, but to be able to enjoy it as well.
Pt 9: KEEPING the RIGHT FRIENDS
Thursday, September 14, 6:30 to 8:00pm @ Grindstone
We’ll discuss the importance of not going it alone along your path to building your business, and this same ideology applies to your personal success and happiness. What’s the point of doing anything if you don’t have special people in your life to share it with. No one wants to be the Bruce Wayne of their city, the quack who owns the huge dining room table with no one to dine with.
People are social by nature, and it’s important to have a life outside of those you work with. Your friends are people to share your experiences with, who will be there to high-five you with every victory and also pick you up after every failure. Make sure they are also the ones who have the same attitude, give back gratitude, and remain a positive force in your life. Those who feed off of negative energy are the ones you can bring the whole house crashing down around you.
Pt 10: THE IMPORTANCE of FAMILY
Thursday, October 19, 6:30 to 8:00 @ Grindstone
We’ve discussed in detail why we become entrepreneurs in the first place, and the importance of deciding what goals we’re trying to achieve. Most will begin the journey with dollar signs in their eyes, or seeking some level of power. Many times these things are personal and selfish, but one who is seeking true success in their lives will be doing so not just to share with their friends, but more importantly their families.
Not everyone has the greatest of childhoods, and no one is expected to share wealth with their siblings just because of blood. Not every entrepreneur has a soulmate, not will we all have children. It is important, however, to think about success beyond just the material or power one might ultimately yield. Real success lies in having a positive influence on those who you call family and those who will eventually remember, and hopefully continue, the legacy you leave behind.