I’m always asked how I became so successful. Most people that ask that question are looking for a quick fix and an easy answer. The intelligent and astute entrepreneurs are always looking for something deeper because they understand that success is a long-term journey. They are willing to put in the time and want to relate to others who have traveled that journey before them.
I started Hunk-O-Mania in 1998 because I saw there was a gap in the market for a high-quality product and service. The business expanded into 19 cities and became a dominant brand. It took thousands of hours of time, commitment and hard work as my success was not the result of luck. The following illustrates my core thoughts for people who strive for business and personal success.
First, it is important to immerse yourself in hobbies outside of your work. It is very important to focus on a creative outlet that will allow you to clear your mind of the stress that becoming an entrepreneur entails. Pursue those interests and hobbies with the same drive and ambition it takes to grow a business. Leverage the success and enjoyment into growing your own business. Outside activities instill a sense of purpose and help you build smaller “wins” over time and provide you with the confidence to make good business decisions. The goal is to avoid burnout which is a real problem for entrepreneurs.
Second, find the missing gap in the field you are in. Business opportunities develop when people decide to find a better way of solving an existing problem. It is important to find inefficiency in the market and find a better way to either rebuild, present or promote something. Even someone working in a deli could identify missteps. Identify these inefficiencies and develop a solution to promote your product and/or service. There is always a better method of doing things.
Third, develop a strong idea of the market and the business. Many entrepreneurs fail because they do not fully understand the market they are in. You should be the number one authority of the market you are in. Some people decide to start a software company but do not fully understand the development process or how to communicate with software engineers. You do not need to be a micromanager but you do need to know every role of the business in order to make the best decisions. By fully immersing yourself in the industry you will uncover hidden opportunities.
Fourth, focus on your customer’s needs. Your customers are your ultimate bosses. Learn what your customers are looking for and what they are struggling with. Ask yourself how you can improve their lives or provide a better experience. By immersing yourself in your customer’s shoes you can respond to their needs accordingly.
Fifth, you need to exactly define what you want. Although it may sound simple many people do not clearly define their goals or what success is. Many entrepreneurs speak of success using general terms. They only want the fancy car or the big house but it is more important to focus on concrete goals such as having control over finances or having the freedom to travel. I was successful because I set my goals incrementally. I wrote down these goals on the back of my closet door and set out to achieve them one by one. Even though some of my goals were lofty, I was able to achieve them through hard work. I clearly defined what my goals were for financial success and business expansion. It is very important for entrepreneur to clearly define what they are looking to achieve in order to develop the correct blueprint to go about achieving these goals.
Finally, it is important to visualize with brilliant detail. Imagine your goals nod picture yourself working hard to actively achieve them. Visualization involves more the hoping and reaming. It is concrete and encourages drive and accomplishment. Imagine you are presenting yourself in front of 100 people in five years and you have to describe how you achieved your journey along the way. Provide all the necessary details and then visualize what these details are so that you can go about achieving your goals.
Business and personal success should be a fun and rewarding journey. There are many viable business ideas and even if you fail initially you should take a step back and reevaluate what went wrong. My business was able to grow from a single venue into a leading national brand with locations in over 19 cities. By visualizing your own path and putting in the time and effort, I truly believe you can achieve your goals of financial and personal success.