Did you know it takes 10,000 HOURS to become an EXPERT?
Back in 1997, when eBay was just a year old, I was burnt out and I had lost focus and started to feel depressed and could not get up for work in the morning. At this point, I had enough of feeling sorry for myself and I bought a newspaper, and started searching for a job focused on a skill; sales. I found a commission only opportunity. Two weeks into a job, I went into a company to discuss how I could help them save money. The owner of this business turned my sales pitch into a job interview, and within three years, I was the Sales Director of a global retail business turning over millions. After 10 years of travelling back and forth from China, with this global Disney license, everything was going great for me, until I received a devastating phone call that a family member was terminally ill, and through asking celebrity influencers I saw an opportunity to help through the use of Social Media.
My passion at this time was finding a solution, and in doing this; I found my love for Social Media. The reason I have shared some of my story with you, is to show you that in order to have a successful business and to become an expert in your field, you need to have a true passion, and love for it because it’s what you’re selling.
I have spent tens of thousands of hours learning, growing and educating myself because success is rarely an overnight thing. Without spending your time, effort and money working on YOURSELF, you won’t achieve your goal.
I have had some great wins in my life, but I have also had a large number of losses including a business or two.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, take a second and look at yourself. If you don’t have the passion, and WANT to learn and be educated success will be a very long, and impossible road ahead.
I am going to share with you WHAT is needed to become a successful entrepreneur and thought leader in your industry. Having been there, and done that; I understand what failure looks like when passion for a business idea is not there. I can also say from experience that learning how to LOVE what you do DOES give you a great starting point to becoming a success.
Persevere through adversity
There is always going to be difficult, or uncomfortable situations in business. To persevere through this is one of the most valuable tools an entrepreneur can possess.
I spent 12 months building a new ecommerce platform and then taking it to market. A year later, we had invoiced more than 6 figures and I was going out for my seed funding. Three months later I received £150,000 investment, valuing my business to be worth £1million in less than 2 years. Just 12 months later, I had to call the liquidators in, and tell my staff, investors and shareholders I was closing the business.
We’re not talking about being a love-struck teenager; we’re talking about what drives you to get out of bed in the morning, and what puts a smile on your face when talking to your friends and family.
Remember that if you don’t ENJOY what you do, your happiness will suffer. If you do enjoy what you do it will feel like you never work a day in your life.
I now have a growing business, with a strong team, new wife and baby due in 4 weeks and because of my passion, experience and wanting to be a dad who is always around, I now have a business I run from my office (at home) and have designed my ideal work / life balance.
Have an interest in your industry
The first time I really found myself researching about Social Media was because of a captivating interest in the online world. Whilst my interest first started out as desperation, it became something completely different, and a world where I am now a thought leader in.
Treat your customers as your best form of marketing
People will always buy from people and as great as every form of online marketing, if your paying customers are not openly supporting you and your product online, it will be hard to build trust.
Your customers can truly make or break your business. Reach out, engage and nurture your audience to become your biggest brand advocates.
Share on a regular basis
How many times have you avoided talking about a business idea with a friend or colleague because you are afraid they are going to “steal” your idea? As much as The Social Network has made us believe that sharing an idea can end so badly; this just isn’t the case.
Always share with people in your industry. This is something I have found myself doing more and more recently. I am involved in a few different groups with amazing entrepreneurs and I will share my ideas with them, in the hope that their feedback will help me improve them.
Solve a REAL problem
Finding your customers pain, and solving this is what leads to a successful business. Don’t just give your audience what THEY want; think ahead. How can you solve their pain, and then preempt a new pain of theirs and already have it solved.
Utilise all resources
The online world is full of an abundance of content, ready for you to learn from. Do your research, download templates, look at all of the tools available to you and turn your research into experience.
Even though I have a baby on the way, I know that because I have a passion for, and love what I do, I will always want to sit at my desk and create products for my audience.