Successful entrepreneurs learn early in their careers that good people make good things happen. When most of us start out in our own businesses, we think that money is the key to making a business successful. To some degree it is — certainly if there is enough money things are easier, but money alone is not the answer.
The validity of this statement can be found in every conversation you will have with rich, successful business people. I’ve had the good fortune to know several and to have met with many more. I don’t think I can recall any conversation I ever had that either began or shortly after getting started didn’t include the following questions.
“So Art, what’s new? What are you doing? Anything I can get involved in?”
They know it’s the people that make things happen and the best way they can increase their wealth is to find people that are working at making things happen and to get involved with them.
Now you may think that such people are rare, hard to find, perhaps the beneficiary of some special talent given at birth. You might be right, but let me say that I believe there are many more out there just waiting for their chance to become the next super stars. We all read about the many who have achieved success and we wish we could be part of their team or better yet, to have known them when they were first starting out. And there are the operative words — when they were first starting out.
All those we would identify as today’s stars were just regular people at some point in their careers. Somebody gave them the chance. Maybe it was some seed capital, or the opportunity to prove themselves by taking on a difficult situation. Maybe the person who was to take on the task was late or got lost on the way and the future star was just in the right place at the right time.
My point is when you take over your business — or start it, you will have people working with you and for you. Look at all of them as potential stars that can help you succeed. It’s your job, maybe your most important job, to help everyone you work with to become as much as they can be. That’s right, you should make it your life’s work to identify the people who are under achieving and who want to do more, be more. You need to find out what turns them on and then put them in the right situation with the right tools and train them so they can conquer the biggest mountains. If you don’t, not only will you limit the growth of your business, you will do those who have put their faith and trust in you (shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers) a terrible injustice, and you will miss out on the truly great rewards of being in business for yourself.
I remember the first big contract I signed when I first started in business for myself. Commercial Loan Insurance Corp (CLIC) a division of Mortgage Guarantee Insurance Corp (MGIC) had just started getting hit with some very large claims. One of their clients suggested that I talk with them about their situation — he also called them and told them that I could help.
In just a few days, I was in their offices talking about my background and suggesting that they hire me to look at five properties throughout the western states and give them an action plan to minimize their losses. They asked me if I could do it in thirty days, I said I could, we agreed on the compensation and I flew home with a nice retainer.
After they received my report, they called and invited me back to discuss my recommendations — as I recall there were three options.
“Option C, where you suggest that we implement these specific property improvements, get the warehouses leased out, collect the money, pay the bills, etc. this looks like it will produce the best result.”
“Yes it will.” I replied. “But you need the people, do you have them?”
“No. How about if you do it? You collect the rents, pay the bills, and send us a report at the end of the month with a net check. Can you do it?”
They gave me my chance and I did it.
When you look at somebody don’t get misled by titles or lack thereof, or the clothes they are wearing, or their narrow range of experiences. Look at what’s behind the mask we all wear and help the person achieve their goals — and they will help you achieve yours.
Learn more about this topic in Chapter Twenty-six in my book.
By Art Consoli
Art Consoli held eight corporate positions with Johnson & Johnson before starting his first business. He went on to build over twenty businesses from patents or ideas or from businesses others couldn’t make successful. These ranged from starting a veterinarian drug company to taking over a steel fabricating company to developing the first manufactured home subdivision to qualify for every private and government assisted mortgage program in Arizona. He also did ten workouts for lenders and owners; the last was a $30 million, 300 employee, precision parts manufacturing plant that made parts for the auto industry. Consoli’s unique background and skills allow him to speak and write about how someone with limited experience can do a self-evaluation which will let him decide which business opportunity is best, how to evaluate opportunities and gain control over the one which offers the greatest potential and then manage that business to success. Readers of his book call and write to tell him how much his book has helped their lives and improved their business.
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