How To Be A Successful Businessman – 50 Rules Of Entrepreneurship Only The Rich And Ruthless Know
To the poor man, a rich man is lucky. To the rich man, a poor man is lazy. Yet, universally, every man shares one key thing in common: It’s called life. What you choose to do with it is entirely your own decision to make. If a man offered you one hundred thousand dollars for you leg, would you take it?
For most men, the answer is: Probably, yeah, well… Why, who’s paying, and when can we do this?!
Would you sell your arm for another one thousand dollars? How about your eye, your other leg, your other arm, and so on…
Tally up your entire body, and you’ll reach a million dollars or more. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve realized you’re a millionaire without ever knowing it. Needless to say, life is valuable, yet, it is an unfortunate shame that so many men today waste it all away. Things like luck or even intelligence play no role in success, though many gentlemen still believe in the fallacy wholeheartedly.
You certainly don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth or have a lot of “connections” either, as they always like to say. The truth is, if you want to know how to be a super successful businessman in this world, all that is required of you is to be breathing!
After reading this guide, you will know exactly why this is true. If you are in doubt, you haven’t done it. Many of these steps will make you sick to your stomach; perhaps you will sh-t your pants. With all the misinformation thrown at you over the years on business and success by doofuses, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit. With that said, I would like to welcome you to the uneasiness of being a super successful businessman and entrepreneur. Here’s to your success!
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1. Face Reality, There Is No Work–Life Balance!
There’s only work-life-choices, all of which have consequences. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. are for poor people.
Men who refuse to believe that are riddled with excuses. It starts with the younger gentlemen saying things like, “Yeah, I’ll get it done… If I don’t have a hangover, if I’m not loaded up on drugs, only if it’s between my tennis and golf lessons.“
Then it progresses to men with families who have grown into their years. Their excuses shift to things like, “Unless I have to take my son to the dentist,” or “unless I have to take my family to counseling.” But by far, the biggest excuse is, “I want to have a life.”
2. Eagles Fly Alone.
Do you want to have a life? Look at the high-performance businessmen of the world. I’m talking about Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and the Trumps. They don’t go to the Super Bowl or World Cup. They are not going to all the college football bowl games. If they did end up going, you can be certain they wouldn’t go with a group of drunk assholes.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, loneliness is a topic no one wants to talk about. The truth is, it’s very lonely at the top. However, that doesn’t mean you have to feel depressed about it. Successful entrepreneurs who truly love what they’re doing are always high on life. They don’t need friends or drugs to feel good.
In other words, show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future. You can’t be a successful entrepreneur hanging out with a bunch of losers and bums. You ARE the result of the five people you spend the most time with. For most men, that includes mom, dad, a brother or sister, and a close friend.
If you go to the bar every night to watch the game, belch, fart, and down a pint of beer with friends, I guarantee you will be doing that for the rest of your life. Time is the MOST valuable thing a man can spend in his life. Why in the world are you wasting it? Most men think they have plenty of it, but the reality is that’s just not true.
3. It’s Bloody Hard, Regardless of What Happens To You In Life.
Any person who tells you anything different hasn’t been successful!
Whether you’re a successful person or a dipsh-t, life is difficult for every man out there. What separates successful men from the failures is one thing: How you end up reacting to and interrupting what happens to you in life.
Truthfully, we all have issues. However, high-performance businessmen accept the issues, learn how to deal with them, and move forward right past them.
4. There’s Only One Way To Grow As An Individual.
You must step out of your comfort zone and keep swinging until you hit a home run, every single day. You’ve got to start sticking your head out like a turtle.
Theodore Roosevelt once wrote a book on how to become fearless and courageous. Summed up, the point entailed creating drills and lists. It starts by naming one thing you are deathly afraid of doing, and you repeat the process every day. At the end of the day, you must accomplish it!
Do things that are beyond your wildest expectations. Set goals in life that you cannot possibly obtain in two or even three lifetimes. 10x your goals! You must constantly grow more and more ambitious. For example, it’s like the Hunchback of Notre Dame asking Marilyn Monroe out on a date. It certainly is a big stretch to make. Ideally, you want to get stuck in courage and continually sucker yourself into becoming a successful person. Start seeing possibilities where others only see limitations.
Remember that customers, too, will continually raise the bar when it comes to their level of expectation. Keep up!
5. Burn Your Ships.
As surprising as it is, thousands of men, every single day, try to get back with their ex. They don’t know how to make a clean break. Instead, they give them ties in which to get back into their life. Why is that?
They aren’t just desperate; they are relying on sh-t like backup plans, fail safes, plan Bs, etc. (They are afraid of being alone.) It doesn’t matter if you’re in the business world or the dating game; those things will destroy you! As Alexander the Great once said, equipping your mind to deal with and ultimately overcome fear is the difference in battle.
Consider Caesar’s failed first invasion of Britain back in 54BC. Sure, he was disastrously defeated. However, his second invasion in 55BC would forever change the story. His plan the second time included burning the ships of his men. By doing so, he forced them to either succeed or ultimately die. There was no backup plan, there could be no retreat!
If you have things like a plan b in place, you’ve already built that kind of thinking into your subconscious. You will fail! You’re essentially telling yourself, “It’s okay to fail.” Failure must NEVER be an option. Remember, FEAR is false expectations appearing real. You must never be afraid of fear, nor the idea of embarrassing yourself. Neither of the two ever stopped Caesar from claiming victory he believed to be rightfully his.
6. You Can Accomplish Anything With Sacrifice.
Every man knows how to lose weight, yet, 60% of the United States population is obese. Shocking, right? How to lose weight is well-advertised and there are endless writings on the subject. However, it’s still not enough, and in reality, it will never be enough. Because most men are not willing to pay the price of action or make sacrifices! You know how to eat healthily and go to the gym, goddammit.
There’s a reason the rich business people of this world have more choices in life. It’s because they were willing to make MORE sacrifices EARLY on. In comparison, most guys today proclaim the same old sh-t, “I want to have a life.” Too many gentlemen have their priorities ass backward.
7. Your Emotional Bank Account Is What Forces You To Quit.
Not your financial bank account. Seeking investment costs you nothing! Hell, most of the time, bankers will end up buying you a free lunch. You must admit to yourself why you’re so f-cked up in the first place. In 99% of all cases for most men, it begins with their parents. Most men starting out in the business world only know one thing: what their parents taught them.
Let’s face it, parents procreate, and it’s one of the last things they’re actually prepared to do. Most of them don’t have a clue about how to raise a successful entrepreneur. Of course, the exception is if you were raised by, say, world-class Olympian athletes at the top of their food chain.
In the first seven to eight years of your life, your self-esteem is built. It’s the time you spend with your parents. Remember again, you are the result or average of the five people you spend most of your time with. That’s normally mom, dad, an older brother/sister, etc. None of these people have any idea nor recipe nor knowledge for success.
Consider Babe Ruth’s quote, “It’s very tough to beat someone who never gives up.” Also remember, if you don’t love yourself, nobody is going to love you! You must be able to deal with the emotional unsteadiness of success.
8. Smell The Leather.
Get a good whiff of luxury. Go to the Rolls Royce and Lamborghini dealers and window shop. Tour million dollar homes. Visit country clubs, even if you can only afford a single dinner once a month. Give yourself a reason to set your goals higher and higher. See your dreams come to life before they actually happen. Focus on the goal line, not the rocky road ahead standing in your way.
Every business owner out there knows one thing to be true: The road to success is always under construction. Even lawyers and accountants you cannot afford will see you. More often than not, the first few meetings are free.
Dress presidential. Wear what successful entrepreneurs wear, a suit. Ditch the jeans and t-shirt. It doesn’t matter if you wear a suit to the grocery store or banking office. Either you act your most successful all the time, or you don’t! Remember, these small habits can dramatically change the way you think about and ultimately perceive yourself. Of course, first impressions are everything. You never really know who you’ll run into while out on the town.
Dream now, and in the future, these things will come true. It’s not some feel-good motto; it’s real life and perhaps one of man’s greatest secrets. If you don’t believe it, you haven’t done it! I think Earl Nightingale said it best, “We are what we think about.” It’s as simple as that.
9. Be Selfish!
Whoever said having too much money was a bad thing doesn’t know where to shop. Period.
Let’s face it; you can’t fix things in life with Zen. It takes money. It’s time to stop worrying about things like global warming when you can’t even afford the monthly payments on your Toyota Yaris. If you really want to change those things, you can, but it requires wealth and money first.
Almost all the things we worry about in life are simply inconsequential, meaning they’re of no consequence. In the cosmos of time in this big world, nobody is nothing more than a fart in the wind. Even Thomas Edison was a fart in the wind! While most men live lives of quiet desperation, the truth is, if they were never born, it wouldn’t have changed sh-t!
Instead of being a worrier all your life, be a warrior. Though you should always remember cash doesn’t avoid death; it only prolongs it. Rich businessmen simply have more choices in life.
10. Don’t Read About Taking Action.
Do it. Truthfully, the businessmen best at selling their deals are simply the ones who practice. I know a lot of men equate shooting hoops or tossing a football as practice for being an all-star. Yet, when it comes to practicing for success, well, that slips their minds entirely. Before a meeting, practice the way you stand, your handshake, and so on. Do it for years to come.
Most men today think buying books and listening to podcasts are steps toward business success. In reality, these aren’t! High-performance businessmen take action; they pull the trigger, do the deals, put in hard work, make mistakes, and step on their own dick.
I don’t care if you’ve read a thousand books. The steps have always been the same: Fail fast, take lots of risks, and fall forward. The bottom line is, without risk, there’s no glory. Some of the greatest battles would be merely fairy tales had there not been someone willing to take action first.
Remember, the bigger the risks you take, the greater the business success you see. Ask yourself: is buying books and podcasts risky? No, it’s often stupid, is what it is! Don’t get me wrong; even I enjoy a good read now and then. But I don’t let them get in the way of taking action, ever.
Understand that if you aren’t experiencing any discomfort or anxiety, the risks you are taking are more than likely not worthy of you. If a risk doesn’t scare you to death, it’s one you’ve outgrown! Super success doesn’t get accomplished by playing it safe and taking risks with a high comfort level. You must always be testing your limits!
11. Make Yourself Accountable.
As I mentioned the drills and lists above, I want you to consider the process. It requires you to be accountable. These things force you to ultimately do what you really don’t want to do and be what you don’t want to be. As every day passes on, you come to a realization: Either you did them or you didn’t.
If you didn’t do them, was someone holding a knife to your throat? Was asking out a woman or pitching for a bank loan really a life and death situation? Would it have killed you? No. No. No. STOP blaming your failures on anything or anyone but YOURSELF!
Here’s where peer pressure works wonders, especially from a mentor, because it shames and guilts you into doing things on your list. Think of it like an AA meeting you know. When you’re successful, you can’t wait to brag and talk about it.
It’s not just YOU who need to be accountable. Make your children accountable. In fact, make everything in your life accountable!
Understand that EVERY minute matters. Time is not something you can simply buy back; it doesn’t work like that! How much time do you waste on Facebook, Twitter, television, etc. every day? If you kept a log for a week or even a day, I’d bet the number would scare the hell out of you. If it has no part in reaching your goals, it has NO part in your life! Period.
Not to mention, all the negative people in your life. Cut them out, make clean breaks. Never give them a hook in which to get back in!
12. You Don’t Have To Be Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos.
The movies have done a great job at making the super successes of this world look like alpha males on the big screen. In reality, the real world isn’t always like that. You have the George Pattons and Donald Trumps on one end and the Henry Kissingers on the other. Most successful business people today fall on the second end of the spectrum.
13. Do Whatever It Takes!
Focus. That one word captures everything that defines how to be successful in business. What is truly your definition of commitment? In the real world, dreams aren’t commitments. Any man can envision his future; few follow through with it. Success requires a different level of commitment, aka going the extra mile. It’s either coma or death. It’s what separates the boys from the men and the billionaires from the millionaires.
The successful businessmen of this world are all at the top because they have one thing in common: They are committed.
You must be all that you can be all the time! Period. Good has always been the enemy of great! Remember, what gets measured gets accomplished. Unless you’re dead or in a coma, you must perform. Perhaps, it’s better you’re dead if you’re not going to do it. Always act as if you have no limits to your abilities.
14. Develop A System For Things That Work.
It’s okay, as long as it’s honest, ethical, moral, legal, and you’re not hurting anybody. Understand, there are four steps of the action plan you must follow. In short, it’s OCMM. The outcome is your desired completion. Commitment: your pay price to action and how much you are willing to sacrifice. Measure periodically. Modify, change the plan as necessary. (Go back and measure the modified plan.)
Great companies know how to change operating practices, culture, and technologies as needed. Yet, they still are able to retain their purpose and core values.
In other words, they adapt. Speaking of which, the number of brick-and-mortar businesses in this country that still refuse to have a website or give a price quote over the phone is shocking. They’ve essentially given up; they’ve become a bunch of fat cats. However, that doesn’t mean their competition will sit idle, waiting for them to catch up.
Moreover, one of the keys to growing a small business is to pour all your attention into high-value tasks. It’s easy to get bogged down with administrative tasks that offer little long-term value. Ideally, you should carefully balance your days with tasks that will offer long and short-term value. If you’re spending every day focused on completing administrative tasks, rarely will this prove to be a truly productive use of your time. The most high-value tasks you can focus on are about building for the future.
15. Find Something You Can’t Live Without.
Don’t start a company selling foot fungus cream if you hate the subject. Within a few months or a year, you’ll get bored and lose focus. The high-performance businessmen of this world cannot be stopped because they love what they work on so much. They could fail a million times, but they’re so addicted to the subject they will always refuse to fail or give up.
It’s like dating a woman in the honeymoon phase; you’re hooked! All you can think about is getting her back into your bed as fast as possible. You can’t get enough of her. The moment you find that in business, go all in!
Understand that the super successful men in this world wholeheartedly believe they are genetically encoded for their specific field of endeavor. They don’t need anything else, they are high on life!
16. If Someone Says No
It’s because you have failed to present to them enough information to make a yes answer. Remember, when the customer says “No,” that’s when the sales process truly starts. The psychology behind the car dealership industry teaches you a lot of tricks, some manipulative and others not. Yet, I’ve learned thousands over the years.
Here’s my personal favorite: You ask the customer if they are ready to purchase a new vehicle. They say no and provide an excuse. “We don’t like how it drives.” You then proceed to ask them, “Is there anything else in addition to that?” This time, they mention, “No, that’s it.“
At this point, you might assume you’d look foolish asking the same question twice. However, you ignore their response and you ask it again, “Is there anything else in addition to that?“
They stare back at you confused, wondering why you just asked the same question. Only, this time, they respond with, “We really can’t afford it; the down payment is too high.” Now, you know the real reason behind what’s holding them back from making a purchase. Now, you have the opportunity to present new information. It could be an incentive program that lowers the price of the car, another bank with lower interest rates, or a dealer demo that’s the same model with a significant discount — ALL of the things you failed to mention beforehand! The customer could have never once mentioned their finance issues in the sales process.
Remember, there are a lot of different ways to read people. Most importantly, just know that when someone says “No,” it doesn’t mean the deal is trash! It means you must present new information. There’s no sleaziness about it; it’s simply the art of being a good salesman and helping your customer discover what meets their means.
17. Be Wise And Careful About The Mentor You Pick.
Napoleon Hill, the American author on self-success, once said, “A human being is like a river; he travels along the path of least resistance.” When it comes to finding a mentor, these words ring true.
An aspiring entrepreneur often seeks mentorship from people like their uncle or brother instead of actually searching for the right person. It’s the path of least resistance, it’s straightforward, and it’s less of a knock to your ego and self-esteem. Remember, there’s a higher probability of someone you already know saying “yes,” which is easily tempting.
Understand that your mentor must have already obtained the level of success you wish to reach or acquire. If they haven’t, you’re only wasting your time. Remember when I pointed out that you were the average of the five people you spend the most time around? If your brother has never worked outside of a low-paying 9-5 his entire life, that’s exactly where you’ll end up, and that’s the kind of advice you’ll get!
In reality, I know you will be met with gatekeepers. They’ll ask what you want to talk about if you suggest eliminating 25% of all employees. Who’s ever going to let you in? Instead of asking for an appointment, ask their secretary when they’re going to be in town. Honestly, gentlemen, you can meet your next mentor outside of their office, at a conference, a restaurant, or even in their own driveway if you park outside of their house overnight. Remember, whatever it takes!
When you start looking for a mentor, find one who’s geographically desirable. Think about it as if you were back in high school. Would you rather date a girl who lives in the same city and goes to the same high school as you, or one who lives three hours away, where you can only see her twice a year? You want to make it as EASY as possible to get plenty of face time as often as possible. Never let the person lose face.
18. Maintain A Rock Solid Relationship With Your Mentor From The Start.
Don’t be a “Yes” person when you first see them. Just be YOURSELF. Nine out of ten times, mentors will ask you something totally outrageous and off the wall in order to see how YOU respond and comment. If you really want to endear them and develop a strong relationship, start by being completely honest.
Try to find something non-business in common with them and build rapport. If you can’t do that with your hobbies, just remember you can always share a common love of business, success, and work ethic to get things done with them.
Understand, even the old dogs want recognition. Sure, they don’t have as much energy as the younger guys, yet, they still want to be a part of a successful team. Everyone wants that, old and young, regardless of age. Remember, humans are teachers by nature.
Always pick up the tab. I don’t care if it’s his club or you’re dead broke! Call the club beforehand and ask if they allow guests to pay. If yes, leave your credit card with the waiter. When it comes to money, never accept your mentor’s money! Don’t just go to see them when you need something. Everyone does that! When you really need them the most, they will respond.
19. You Can Never Have Too Much Feedback From Your Mentor.
Both ways. Produce a weekly report composed of three sections: 1. Your accomplishments for the week; 2. Your accomplishments for the next week; and 3. The problems and challenges you face.
Never get frustrated if you don’t get the answers you want. Continue to follow their advice and share your progress often.
20. Focus On The Few, Not The Many.
You must never let sentimental attachments determine your path in business. Being ruthless is what separates the average business owner and the super successful all-stars.
When your goals grow, so do your decisions; both become harder and harder. It’s a fact of life. In reality, you cannot please everyone and take care of everything all at the same time. You must know how to delegate duties and double down on what works. When you are shown terrible ideas, you must never be afraid to say no! Without a response, you are giving consent to run with things you know will never work. You are validating a future of continually shooting yourself in the foot.
There is no harm in being honest. However, there can be a great deal of pain when you let others decide things for you. Remember, if you want a successful business, it requires a team with a crystal clear sense of vision and impact.
21. Stop Seeking Constant Approval From Others.
Do what you want because you want to be the best. Disregard what others think. Don’t seek approval from your parents like most men do when it comes to their life decisions. You don’t need a nod of approval from your father to start a business or make a financial deal.
Your mother shouldn’t be giving you the okay to sign off a paper contract when it comes to selling your company. Your parents don’t need to hear about your first sale. You’d be amazed at how many small things men bring up while secretly seeking approval from others.
Remember, approval doesn’t mean advice. Building your dream team and hiring the best lawyers, accountants, etc. are critically important! If you truly want to know if your business concept will last, ask yourself one simple question, “Does my company stand for something great to someone?“
22. Never Miss A Meeting.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your birthday, a holiday, your anniversary, or a day before your wedding. If you were in a car accident and broke your leg, drag it to the board room. If a meeting is requested or scheduled, you make it. Period!
Never complain about the date or time, or how inconvenient it was for you. Get the idea of being polite out of your head; it’s all about having mental discipline. It goes right back to being accountable and committed.
23. Time Matters More Than Money.
Most businessmen today drastically underestimate the value of time. Instead of thinking in terms of ROI, or return on investment, start thinking in terms of ROM, or return on minutes.
24. Be A Strong Leader And A Constant Student.
Great leaders make sense of change in the world, and proceed to share that insight with their team. You are paid in life for what you can get others to do for you. You don’t have to be the smartest individual in the room. In fact, you could start a business in a field you know absolutely nothing about. Your job as a leader is to attract smart employees to work for you!
Remember, the brainpower of the group will always trump that of just one individual. Though you should never stop trying to become qualified for the job. Be a macro manager, where less control equals more control.
25. Get Great People On Your Bus.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in; all that matters is who you do it with. Most businesses end up morphing into other industries while starting out.
Sure, they hadn’t planned on being in them in the first place. However, their success all starts with one thing: They all picked great people to do it with. When you build your dream team, the people on your bus shouldn’t be focused on where you’re going. In reality, they should be on your bus because they like who’s riding along with them!
Put them all through a doofus test. Stress them and judge their reaction to pressure when being a high-performance person is demanded of them. When you have big problems, put your best people on them; you will be confident in doing so.
26. Choose Your Battles.
Don’t sue over every small matter of wrongdoing. Large lawsuits are better than minor ones. When warranted, choose your venue and choose to be the plaintiff. In some cases, this won’t be possible; however, you should still play the part. That means to prepare for trial, don’t fear it or be intimidated by the process.
Use mock trials to your advantage. Bring your wife to the front row every day, children as well, if allowed, and other members of your family in the second row. You want them to know what you’re going through.
Hire the best representation. It goes back to building your dream team; don’t worry about the cost. If you have a better strategy in mind, it’s time to find a new lawyer. If you find a team that consistently wins, stay with them. It’s hard trying to get new lawyers on your team up to speed; avoid changes when possible. Remember to keep in close contact with your lawyer, preferably once a month. Don’t let them disappear to handle everything.
Elect for jury trials rather than a judge only. You shouldn’t be afraid to trust your fellow citizens. To show respect for the judge and jury, dress conservatively. That means a white shirt, simple tie, dark suit, and no jewelry other than your wedding band. When it comes to recorded videos in court and in depositions, look at the camera.
The same is true for the jury and judge; make eye contact. If you don’t know the answer to a question, never guess. Say you don’t know. Remember, honesty is key!
Don’t lose your temper in court, however, if authentic emotion is fine. Never talk in public about the case, regardless of where you are at. Someone may very well overhear your conversation. That includes the press, who may misinterpret your words while in a hurry. If you choose to make a statement, “We believe in our case, and that is why we went to court,” is enough.
27. Perfection Equals Paralysis.
Don’t waste time on things you cannot change. Truthfully, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of working on things that don’t matter. You could spend an entire year putting together the perfect business plan, only to see it fail after being put into action. Even small things like picking out the right font, color, messaging, etc. on a simple brochure can be a major time suck.
When in doubt, trust your gut; don’t delay if you don’t have to. A good plan today is always better than a great plan you execute next week. By then, well, it just might be too late. Remember, your gut is your most valuable asset, don’t just ignore it. The truth is, conventional wisdom is almost always wrong in the first place.
28. Every Problem Solved Will Eventually Be Replaced By A Much Larger One.
Never underestimate how wrong you can be. Even with careful planning, external circumstances and events can create chaos. Super successful businessmen live for that kind chaos; it’s what fuels the fire in their bellies. Understand that progress often masquerades itself as trouble.
Never opt for the easy, Band-Aid solution; it will eventually peel off. Short-term solutions don’t work for long-term problems, regardless of how alluring they may appear. Instant gratification can get in the way of your goals; avoid that.
29. Being A Super Successful Businessman Is NOT For Every Man.
I don’t care what the gurus and coaches tell you. Most of them made money putting asses in seminar seats and pushing book sales, NOT in business. But boy, will they sell you a dream they couldn’t even acquire on their own. They love to pump out misinformation, which gives you no chance to succeed.
Let’s face it, most men today are TOO weak. A strong drink and a good f-ck would kill most of them. You’re not going to work 4 hours a week; you’re going to work 120. You’re not going to be sipping mojitos and napping at the beach; you’re going to sleep in the office!
Understand that it doesn’t matter if you’re working 12 hours a day, you could be “busy” for 12 hours a day in reality. There’s a difference between working smart and staying busy.
30. Kiss A Lot Of Frogs.
Life is a numbers game, regardless if you’re asking out women or trying to acquire financing. If you want to see entrepreneurial success, you must always be kissing frogs! Twenty women may turn down your request to take them home for the night, but the twenty-first woman may very well agree. Yet, most men can’t take that kind of hit to their ego or emotional bank account!
In business, you’ll be met with calls that are hung up on you, abusive callbacks, and flat-out refusals to talk. What divide the men from the boys are persistence and focus. Very few are willing to make a thousand phone calls when it comes to getting financing.
After a handful of rejections, most men quit. They proclaim, “I can’t get financing,” “No one will invest in my idea,” etc. ALL of them, excuses! There is a sucker out there who will invest in anything, including your idea, but only if you take the time to find them first.
31. Expand In A Down Cycle.
Double your work effort when times are difficult. Tough times don’t last; tough businessmen do. It’s a reminder of what Henry Ford once said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.“
This is especially true when it comes to times of recessions and depressions. When the stock market falls, you won’t see Warren Buffett jumping ship. Yet, the rest of the world believes this may really be the end. Meanwhile, he’s buying up everything in sight with the utmost confidence.
Understand that building wealth at the levels most men can never fathom means buying small companies, rolling them into one, puffing your company up like a fat hog, and selling it at the market. When you stop expanding, so does your success. Take for instance this very moment, interest rates are incredibly low.
Banks are flush with cash, literally waiting for you to come and take it. It reminds me of the housing crash years ago. Fast-forward in time, and you’ll see Buffet again, ready to buy bulk real estate when others are still uneasy over the thought of it.
32. Pay Yourself And Your Employees First.
That includes through all economic cycles. Share your wealth with your dream team and do it with cash, equity, options, or wants that are tangible rewards for performance and loyalty. Pull cash out of the company and enjoy the lifestyle you and your family have earned.
Most business owners today work their entire lives in one place, waiting for the day they can “cash out.” When the time comes, they are shocked. They discover the market isn’t willing to pay what they had planned to sell off at. Remember, it doesn’t matter how much YOU value your company. What matters is how much someone else is willing to ultimately pay for it!
If you are over 40 and in an upmarket, sell your business. You might not be around long enough to see another one.
33. Know How To Negotiate.
Define the boundaries of the other parties’ comfort zone. Place the deal inside of them nearest to your own interests. Remember, a deal has to sound good before it is good!
Respect the gentleman on the other side of the table. He’s not as stupid as you may believe, and you’re not as clever as you think!
34. All Ideas Are Worthless Until Put Into Action.
You are standing in your own acres of diamonds. I’m talking about your mind here. It churns out ideas day after day. But if you aren’t willing to dig for them, they’re worthless.
It doesn’t matter what you invent, figure out, or what mystery of the world you unlock. If you don’t file for a patent, your competitor will. If you don’t pitch your idea in order to get financing, someone else will get the money, and your product will never reach the store shelves. If you don’t write down your idea with the goal of making it a reality, it will NEVER happen.
On the other end of the spectrum here, even the most bizarre business concept can often be profitable. Who would have ever thought pet rocks or even the plastic grocery bag with the smile on it could be multi-million dollar ideas in reality? The people who took action did, and guess what, they succeeded.
Can you imagine how many people called them crazy in the process? How many times they got rejected and ridiculed? It’s truly a shame most men give up on great ideas because they are either too embarrassed, afraid or unmotivated.
35. Go From Idea To Execution The Right Way.
Identify the idea. It could be expanding your revenue or forming a new joint venture partner, and so on. Investigate. Then investigate again to see if it is what you think it is. The second time, use different people from within your organization. Commit to the idea. If you’re not obsessed with it, no one else will be. In that scenario, sh-t can it!
Share the obsession and start living it. Discuss how great it will be, how great it will be for America, for whatever. You live it and you breathe it, and you share it with others. Don’t talk about anything else, period! It becomes your whole life. Walk the talk.
Never share your doubts with anyone, ever! Not your wife, mistress, etc. even if it eats you up inside or makes you an insomniac at night. You WILL have a lot of doubts, however, you must be a bulldog. The moment you say, “I don’t know if it’s going to work,” the deal is DEAD. It’s over, it has fallen apart.
Put together a critical path. Your team of decision-makers will do this, not you! They are the ones who are going to have to implement and execute it. If they don’t get it accomplished, you are the one who puts their heads on a pole. Stay out of it! Create a detailed timeline. Continually measure every single thing. You don’t measure it, they do.
Your other decision-makers will implement the plan. They keep focused and follow up at subordinate levels. This is the grunt work, the real work. Focus follow-up at the decision-maker level.
Execution. It means laser beam focus without deviation and no blinders. You lead from the front; it is the only thing in your life. Never second-guess your subordinates, as they will make mistakes at all levels and lots of them. Only step in and override when you believe it will take down the company. People must be given permission to make mistakes. It’s the only way they can grow exponentially. Reevaluate and start all over again.
36. Conventional Wisdom Is Almost Always Wrong.
“You can’t do that“… You will hear those words a million times! It comes in many different forms. “It’s the worst recession ever, you can’t get a loan.” “You can’t get financing if you have bad credit.” The most obvious rationale given to you will almost always be wrong.
The truth is, it’s extremely difficult when you’re starting out to overlook the obvious and go against all conventional wisdom; it’s near impossible. However, you MUST remain focused on the positive. Talk about the positive, never the times you weren’t successful. Keep your eyes set far down the road. Assume people are honest and that they will deal with you fairly. When you discover they are not, the rules change entirely.
You can investigate at either the beginning or the end, though, if you’re uncomfortable do it at the start. Spend a few thousand dollars to see if that person is no good. Hire real investigators. Every penny you spend will be worth it. Period. For instance, if you are doing a $5 million dollar joint venture with a partner, spending $10,000 is a drop in the bucket; it’s cheap!
37. Establish A Line Of Credit.
Contrary to popular belief, credit cards are NOT a line of credit. A fourteen-year-old child can have an American Express card. Any moron on the face of the planet can get one. If you feel proud because you have one, you’re an idiot!
You must start thinking in terms of fishing with nets, not lines. Doing thirty deals and closing multiple houses instead of buying one at a time. Most refuse to do twenty or thirty deals at a time because they are afraid of what happens when more than one gets approved.
38. You Don’t Need A Business Plan To Get Financed.
Never go into a bank with a business plan. On the first meeting, you must show up with nothing. No papers!
Ask the financial banker for a copy of a proposal that has been approved by the bank. Tell them to redact and black out the names. They’ll give you a business plan that works and you don’t even have to write one.
Remember, business plans are NOT set in stone. At best, there are wild-ass guesses. The same is true for when you estimate how much financial cash you will need.
39. When You Borrow Money, Borrow Big Bucks.
If you need ten thousand, borrow fifty! Always borrow more than you believe you will need. In all honesty, you never truly know what the number will be; you’re only assuming. Understand that you’re not doing anything wrong here.
When it comes to 1, 3, or 5 over prime, it should NOT make a difference in your deal. If it does not pencil out, your deal is too tight and it’s no damn good! Expect there to be a margin for errors and mistakes.
40. It’s Not That Money You’ve Got To Worry About, It’s The Deal!
In reality, banks today are flush with cash. The only problem is, most men aren’t smart enough to get off their ass and actually go get it. You don’t have money for your projects because you don’t ask for it! And you don’t ask for it because you don’t wholeheartedly believe in it enough. And if you don’t believe in it enough, the bank knows it and so do you. And that’s why you don’t ask them because, let’s face it, you already know exactly what they’re going to say!
Without any enthusiasm, your chances are next to ZERO. Remember the most beautiful woman at your school, the one you never asked out? It’s no different!
41. Bad Credit And All Other Excuses Are Not Valid.
It’s true bankers are more inclined to lend you money when you have a track record. The same can be said for your credit rating. They lend to people who have had a successful chain of transitions. If you have none of these, you need to partner with someone who does.
Past the first transition, even if you give up most of your equity, it will be worth it. That track record will carry over to the second, third, and so on. Understand that having your mother-in-law or father-in-law on the deal with you can be a red flag to bankers. More than one last name across the page is always the better option.
When you’re looking for banks, keep an eye out for two that have just merged. If there’s a new bank in town, set up a tent outside their front door. Also remember, there ARE financial institutions out of this country that require none of the above. It’s YOUR job to go to them even if it means hunting for cheap flights or riding on a boat! The US is not the only financial playground in the world.
Of course, it’s also perfectly fine to shop for a deal. More than six credit checks on your report is not a big thing!
When it comes to angels, aka the old man with money who will fund your project, expect a GREAT one to take 85-95% of your deal and throw your ass out within 1 year if you can’t deliver as the CEO or boss. While you might think you can manage, the truth is most can’t! Finding angels is not difficult; it’s only difficult but you never ask.
If possible, position yourself properly by using audited financials. You’ll double your chances of approval. When they’re from a big fix firm, you can expect that to be even 25% higher.
Remember, you must be willing to put your neck out on the line. If you won’t, why should a banker? You are the one running the company, not them! Roll your financial worth if you have to.
Aside from bankers, you have other options. Owner financing for one. For instance, a man may have run his business for fifty years, and now he’s watching his wife cough up blood at the hospital. He wants out, FAST! Let’s face it, there are plenty of opportunities out there. However, you must look for them and ask first!
42. Success In Selling Is Smiling And Dialing.
When pitching for funding, you’ll be met with an emotional hurdle! Think of yourself as a concept salesman. It doesn’t have to feel sleazy like being a used car salesman or the guy who sells encyclopedias at your front doorstep.
You must practice! Do so for two to three hours before a presentation, and you will be a thousand times more at ease. You must sell your vision with clarity. The banker has to feel like you’ll do WHATEVER it takes to pay back the money. That passion needs to be crystal clear!
43. Know How To Deal With Bankers.
You want to work with a banker who can make a decision, NOT one that will waste your time. Ask them, “What is the lending limit of your bank?” Immediately, you will separate yourself from 99% of the other people he’s ever talked to. When he responds, ask, “Secured or unsecured limit?” When you have that information, ask, “What is your lending limit?” By that, I mean the amount he doesn’t need a sign-off from his superior for. If his limit is $25,000, you ask for $24,950.
If he can’t make a credit decision himself, you don’t want to talk to him. If you must talk to a committee of two, make sure both of them are present at the same time. If it’s more than two, find another bank!
Before stepping a foot in the door, call and set up the interview, and ask to speak with the senior leading officer. “This is Brian Cornwell, is your bank in a lending mode right now?” You don’t want to invest time only to find out the FDIC is closing the bank down next month.
If they ask why, respond, “I’m looking for a new financial relationship.” Remember, it is always better to have an assistant set up your interviews for you when possible. What you are really doing here is simply qualifying the bank.
44. When Interviewing Banks And Financial Institutions, Don’t:
NEVER mention that you are looking to borrow money. That’s what 99% of the people who walk into banks today say. And you know what, it reeks of desperation! Always mention that you are looking to establish a new financial relationship.
Be a bum and walk around with your hat in your hand. YOU are in control; YOU are driving the show here. Avoid appearing nervous; it will affect your ability to pitch your deal with confidence. Again, it goes right back to the practice bit. You must rehearse beforehand.
45. Consolidate Fragmented Industries.
Let’s face it, starting from scratch with a brand new business takes years and years of hard work. Even then, you’re looking, on average, at roughly 3 to 5% profit margins. However, when you build groups of enterprises through acquisitions, the rewards are exponential and the time frame is considerably short.
Aim to generate a combined value in this group. Achieve a synergy by which that bottom line value is far superior to the sum of the individual operations. Think in terms of Unilever, Time Warner Cable, General Motors, US Steel, and so on. Remember, real wealth is the result of repeated acquisition, sale, and/or IP of businesses.
46. When It Comes To Purchasing, The Majority Of The Choice Stems From Emotion.
If there’s one thing car dealerships are really good at, it’s using this statement above to their advantage. They know the moment you test drive a new vehicle off the lot, you will, more often than not, fall in love with it. However, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling; the rule applies to unloading a business as well.
Assume a potential buyer visits your location. They will see everything from the dirty carpet to the cluttered receptionist desk. They will notice how loud your employees are alongside the awards you have hung up on the wall. (It’s a good reason why franchises in the dealer world have STRICT showroom guidelines. I mean, fine tooth comb strict.) You MUST puff up the hog.
47. The Market Decides How Much Your Business Is Worth.
Not you! There’s the market comparison approach, the asset approach, the gross revenue approach, and the “here’s how much I’m willing to pay” approach.
Most buyers will request three years of records. While you may supply your projections, no one is going to believe you. Buyers will do their own research and make their OWN projections, on which they’ll base the valuation.
48. Don’t Become A Fat Cat.
Most of the successful entrepreneurs and business leaders you see today were once like you. They were bold, determined, and ruthless in accomplishing their dreams. After their first entrepreneurial success, they stopped and decided it was time to play it safe. In other words, they practically retired early. They might wait for their sons to take over their company after they die.
Remember, you can’t cling to your past successes like a teddy bear. You MUST repeat the process over and over again.
Interestingly enough, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the businessmen who become rich, yet feel they didn’t ultimately deserve it. What happens is they usually end up going broke.
49. You Must Sell The Seller On You.
It’s not uncommon to find a business founder or owner who is VERY protective over their company. It’s pretty apparent when you hear people talking about the “BRAND” over and over. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people who are so focused on the “brand” they put business completely aside. It’s amazing.)
They want to know their baby is going to be in good hands with you. They’ll ask who you are and ask how you will run the company. To answer these questions, you NEED credibility. Having your accountant or lawyer make the first call will do that. If you insist on calling yourself, give references to the two above. It will satisfy their due diligence. Of course, you can also include these in a letter as well.
50. Start Today.
If you do not take action within the next 24 hours, you NEVER will. Time flies; you could be in your twenties or thirties at this very moment. The next thing you know, you’ll be in your sixties and seventies. All within the blink of an eye. Don’t wait until it’s too late because that time WILL come.
You need nothing more than a cell phone and a notebook. It doesn’t matter if you’re dead broke or haven’t worked a day in your miserable life! The only thing holding you back from reaching the level of super success you desire is, quite simply, YOU!
Accept that life isn’t fair, stop being weak, and start taking action. Period.