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Become a Successful Entrepreneur

October 17th, 2009 2 comments

asian_coupleOver the last 20 years, while building two businesses (Nu Skin and an art gallery) I’ve had the good fortune to not only learn about but to develop the skills required to become a successful entrepreneur. For most distributors this is their first experience with owning a business and they always ask (rightfully so) what it takes to be successful. Unfortunately, there is no magic checklist. There are simply too many variables that can affect the outcome of any venture. What I have learned, through experience, is that there are certain key characteristics that will stack the odds in your favor of achieving both your personal and financial goals while developing your entrepreneurial skills.

Here’s my personal checklist. I encourage you to take the time to honestly answer each of these and gauge exactly where you are in your journey. Write down your strengths and list areas you need to work on. Then seek out and work with those who have the knowledge and experience to assist you.

1. Do You Have Confidence In Yourself? In other words, do you truly believe in yourself? Do you believe you are capable of accomplishing anything you really set your mind to doing? Do you honestly believe that you can muster the passion to burst through obstacles and reach your goals? If you don’t have confidence in yourself, you’re doomed.

Each day push yourself to do just a little bit more than you are comfortable with. Before you know it, you’ll be doing things that were once well beyond what you ever thought possible! Remember, no matter how successful a person may be today, they probably started out exactly where you are. If you believe you can, then you have all the confidence in the world.

2. Do You Have Confidence In Your Venture? Ask yourself if you really, truly believe in what it is you are doing. If you’re not totally committed to your venture, keep looking until you find one that you feel ready to fully commit to. Then focus on it day and night. If you’re not totally committed, don’t even start!

3. Are You Willing To Make Sacrifices? As an entrepreneur, you have to realize that nothing in your life will resemble what the rest of the world considers “normal.” You’ll be working early in the morning well before the rest of the working world, and you’ll still be there when it seems everybody else is plunked down in front of their television for the night.

But that’s the essence of a successful entrepreneur. You have to be willing to go beyond what is considered normal. You have to be willing to break the rules. I’ve always believed that if you follow the crowd, you’re never going to get any further ahead than the crowd, but if you make your own way, you’ll often find yourself in places the crowd will never see.

Just be sure that your significant other understands that you will be making sacrifices, and make them at your expense, not theirs!

4. Are You A Decision Maker? If you needed some piece of information, would you know how to get it? Would you know how to get it fast, without wasting your time or other people’s time? In other words, if you had a decision to make, would you get the facts fast and make the decision, or are you a person who procrastinates forever until the mere fact that you’ve not made a decision actually becomes your decision?

Like it or not, there are going to be a lot of decisions to be made in your entrepreneurial career, so get in the habit of getting the facts together fast and making an informed decision. Realize that every decision you make, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time will affect your future in some way. When in doubt, go with your gut instinct and always do what’s right!

5. Can You Recognize Opportunity? If your business were to totally fall apart tomorrow, would you look at it as a loss, or as an opportunity to rebuild, improve, and grow? One of the most interesting facts that I have found in entrepreneurs that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years is that they do see opportunity in everything! No matter what it is, they ask questions about it. They wonder if there’s a better way, and if they think there is, they either find it themselves or seek out somebody who can help them find it.

Opportunity is everywhere and with the abundance of new products and technologies available to us, there’s never been so much opportunity knocking at our feet! If you can see it too, then you are a true entrepreneur!

6. Do You Have High Levels Of Energy And Stamina? To be a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to need boundless energy and stamina. If you’re not eating right, exercising, and keeping stress to a minimum, chances are you’re not doing all you can to maximize your energy.

Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally will ensure you have all the energy you’ll need to take advantage of each opportunity as they present themselves to you. A successful entrepreneur can never have too much energy because you never know when opportunity will knock!

7. Are You Willing To Lead By Example? You’re not going to be able to do it all yourself. If you can’t lead, nobody will ever follow you. As president of your business and leader of your downline, your distributors will look to you for guidance and support. Being a leader means becoming a true success.

Now that you know what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, the only thing stopping you is—hmmmm—I can’t think of anything either. So go for it!

Whom Do You Want To Be?

October 2nd, 2009 2 comments

Where are You NowYou might find this to be a funny question. You might be thinking that you have no choice in who you are. I contend that each of us determines exactly who we are and where we end up in life. Certainly, we are affected by our circumstances, how we grew up and the people that we come in contact with. However, it is our choice as to what we allow to affect us and those choices that ultimately determine who we are and who we become.

Many of us spend our whole lives “being” whom others have told us we are. Psychiatrists call this a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Children, for example, who are repetitively told they are “bad” will eventually be convinced that they are and will work diligently to prove their parents right. What we are taught by words and actions becomes the reality of our world and many people grow up believing themselves to be unworthy due to misconceptions learned as a child.

Now imagine that as these children grow up, they never learned to question the lessons that they were taught. Since our actions are irrevocably tied to our perceptions of ourselves, our actions as adults will continue to be self-fulfilling. If we believe ourselves to be unworthy, will we ever believe that we are deserving of the better things in life? Will we work hard to create successful careers and relationships? Probably not. Instead we will subconsciously self-sabotage ourselves at every turn because we must prove that our beliefs about ourselves are correct. It will actually be more comfortable for us not to succeed because that is what we expect.

This is why personal growth and self-actualization are so critical to success in our business. When I first entered network marketing, I was told to “work harder on myself than on my business.” I truthfully had no idea what that meant. It took me several years to begin to understand the concept and to determine where and why I tended to sabotage myself. I have witnessed many networkers pouring a lot of hard work into their businesses and continuously searching for answers to succeed—but never accepting that the answers lie within. They will search for better scripts, better systems, better companies but they will not take the time to search inside themselves to see a better person. You see, this is where the choice comes in. You are whom you choose to be. You can choose to be the person that your parents or siblings or friends or co-workers believe you are or you can look inside yourself and decide to be who you really are.

So where do you begin? Start by determining your beliefs about yourself. Where did these ideas come from—are they valid? I contend that 95% of what you believe about yourself has little or no validity. Very few people can see the good in themselves; they can only focus on the negatives. Instead of focusing on your less desirable traits, put the emphasis on your better qualities. Learn that those less desirable traits, our little quirks, are what make us human. Certainly there are areas we want to improve, but that is difficult to do if we believe that somehow we are inherently bad or unworthy. Life is a journey of discovery and learning. Once we’re able to appreciate our finer points and learn to love ourselves, it is easier to work on areas we desire to improve. Once we learn to care about ourselves, we can begin to erase our old tapes and begin making new ones. We can believe that we deserve to have success in all areas of our lives and stop the self-sabotaging behavior. Magically, things will start to get better in our lives and all of a sudden, we have a new belief system, one where we expect good things to happen. And guess what—more good things will continue to happen!

Perhaps you just got stalled somewhere along the way. Begin to discover who you really are starting today and actively choose to be the person, that deep down inside—you already know you are.