1 Habit All Successful People In Entrepreneurship Have In Common

Most successful people share the same handful of things in common:

  • They are disciplined with their time
  • They know how to stay focused on one goal at a time
  • They have mentors and other influential people they can turn to for advice
  • They have mastered one (or multiple) valuable skills
  • Etc.

But in entrepreurship in particular, I have noticed that the most successful people have this 1 habit in common:

They see opportunities others don’t see and go after them

And here’s why:

I’ve heard this expression all my life:

“Opportunity doesn’t knock. It stands silently by waiting to be recognized. It often goes unnoticed because it looks like an unfair exchange.”

What is an unfair exchange you may ask. Here is an example.

Some people hate public speaking. I used to hate it because I was terrified to do it.

Then I realized that if I overcame my fear of public speaking, I could develop a skill that could take me places. So I did that and then something happened. I started getting asked to speak in front of people and I developed a love for presenting.

If you can do something that is easy or has become easy for you without a lot of effort, then when someone asks you to do it, especially for pay, it is an unfair exchange. Entrepreneurs are like that – they do things that others don’t want to do or can’t do because they see something others can’t or don’t see. To them, it is unfair to ask them to do something they love or have special gifts to accomplish because it is natural to them – like breathing.

Do you have something that you like to do and that others don’t but is in demand? That is an opportunity.

The Best Piece Of Career Advice I Was Given

When I was 24 or 25, one of my mentors at the time gave me an unforgettable piece of advice.

I was just starting to get interested in career development and achieved my certification as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). I had been beating myself up and running ragged trying to figure out what to do to advance in the technology space. But, like most young people out of college, I was making a lot of mistakes:

  • I focused on the wrong things in the job like the perks of being a manager
  • I didn’t network with others to learn about their roles and contributions to the company
  • I didn’t share what I was doing in a way to help me have a positive image in the company

Until one day, my mentor said to me:

“Do you want to be the person doing the work, or do you want to be the person telling that person what to do? If you want to tell people what to do then get your MBA.”

That day, my whole life changed.

When I started I was a systems analyst with an electrical engineering degree. I learned to code and was deep into back-office software and systems. However, those folks didn’t make decisions and didn’t make as much money as the people who were the managers and directors of the company (and they didn’t get invited to the pro basketball games and other fun events).

When I got that advice, I immediately enrolled in an MBA program and started seeking management jobs. That decision helped broaden my perspective and helped me advance my career.

Now I own my own company and that advice has been with me for many years. It boils down to what you really want to do. There is nothing wrong with being a technician, engineer, or individual contributor. But at the same time, you have to be honest with yourself and if you want more you may have to do things differently to get there.

I’m not saying that everyone should get an MBA but for me, it was the right decision that opened doors for the rest of my life.

This Is The Best Book I’ve Ever Read On Becoming a Millionaire

There are a lot of books about how wealthy people make their money and how they think. And I’ve read most of them as inspiration for my own development.

But the best book on becoming a millionaire I’ve found is Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons by Lewis Schiff. I know people will argue with me and say Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is the best, but I really like this book for a couple of reasons:

  • Difference in Thinking: The book highlights the difference in thinking between wealthy people and not-so-wealthy people. There are a lot of examples of how money is viewed by both groups and the differences.
  • Learn the Business Side of Your Art. There are examples of many types of people who learned the art of what they do but also learned the business side of what they do. They seemed to fare the best in each situation.
  • There is A Process Anyone Can Follow: The book lays out a 17-step process that anyone can follow to increase their ability to generate wealth. The key is you have to be willing to unlearn some things and learn some new ones.
  • Great Stories of Successful People. The book has great stories about people who have done great things. Most of them did not do what they did for money but for the ability to be free to do whatever they wanted.

If you are at all interested in becoming a millionaire, billionaire, or trillionaire, I can’t recommend this book enough.

(And if you’ve read it, do you agree? What other book would you recommend for beginners?)

How I Got Interested In AI

I wouldn’t call myself an expert in artificial intelligence by no means.

However, I have spent a lot of time reading and learning about AI. And I have probably spent dozens of hours interacting with AI in my own professional life.

Here’s how I first got interested in AI:

I read a lot and listen to all kinds of podcasts. I was listening to one of the entrepreneurship podcasts and they mentioned this thing called ChatGPT. I thought I would try it and see if I could understand what all the hype was about. Once I signed up for the free version I started playing with prompts and trying to create things.

I felt like Neo in the Matrix when he sat in the chair and downloaded all kinds of information and content for several hours.

After playing with ChatGPT I started experimenting with other tools like Midjourney and Play.ht. Because I’m a musician and podcaster, I wanted to learn more about how to create content related to sound. I started playing with generative audio and video tools and got hooked on them. I spend all kinds of time using these tools because they are so much fun.

So my goal over the next few weeks is:

I plan to use my knowledge of these tools to create new products and services to serve my market. I don’t know what this looks like right now but I’m thinking about learning new skills in content creation using the various AI tools I discover.

The Best Way To Get Started Learning About Growing A Business

I love learning about growing and scaling a business. Unfortunately, when I first got interested in the topic, I had difficulty figuring out where to start. There is so much content out there on the internet you have to do as my grandmother taught me – eat the fish and spit out the bones.

So, if you are trying to learn more about recruiting, here’s the best way to get started:

  • Read This Book: Buy Back Your Time by Dan Martell will give you a lay of the land, and is a helpful way to get your bearings. The idea is to do the right work so you work on your business and not in it. I’m implementing a lot of the ideas I got from this book.
  • Watch This YouTube Video: 5 Ways to Scale Any Business by Alex Hormozi is a must-see beginner resource for anyone interested in growing their venture. I love his presentation style and how he breaks things down to make them actionable. The goal of starting a business is the grow it so you can help others with great products and services while providing job opportunities. Definitely check out this video for sure.
  • Listen To This Podcast: And if you really want to start going down the rabbit hole, listen to Side Hustle School by Chris Guillebeau. He features the stories of countless entrepreneurs who have successfully started and scaled their businesses. There are many inspirational stories on this podcast so check it out when you have the opportunity.

These 3 resources will exponentially accelerate your learning process.

3 Topics I Am Exploring In My Life Right Now

There are 3 topics I am actively thinking about a lot these days:

Investing

I am interested in investing because I would like to build a financial legacy for my family. I’m starting to get into real estate investing and buying small companies to merge into to my existing firm.

And my hope is that over the next 5 to 10 years, as I continue to learn more and more, I’ll be able to create something that will provide wealth for my great-grandchildren in the distant future.

Recruiting/Executive Search

I first got interested in recruiting and executive search specifically a few years ago when I was trying to figure out what to do with the second half of my life.

A friend of mine from a previous company introduced me to the idea —and since then, I have learned a lot about the importance of building a professional network, creating value for others, and connecting diverse talent and inclusive workplaces

Artificial Intelligence

I also have an interest in learning more about AI. As a recovering electrical engineer and IT guy for over 20 years, I love the impact AI is having on the world. I use ChatGPT, Midjourney, Play.ht, and other tools that help me be productive and creative at the same time. It’s one of those fun rabbit holes I find myself exploring simply because I enjoy it.

It would be great to connect with other people who are interested in these same topics—so if any of the above resonates, feel free to reach out!

Why I Joined The Ship 30 for 30 Program

I recently signed up for Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole’s cohort-based course, Ship 30 for 30. Here are a few reasons why.

I want to shift from being a consumer to being a producer

I’m always looking for content to consume that makes me a better person at the things I do.

If there is a skill I want to learn or a topic I want to learn more about, I seek out content on that topic and inhale it.

I think there is a balance where you produce as much as you consume and I want to achieve that balance

Everyone should produce as much as they consume and that is one of my reason for joining the Ship 30 for 30 program.

I need to establish a daily discipline of content creation

To do our best work we need a system to follow with simple steps that are repeatable.

The structure and approach to writing starting today will help me develop a new habit of production that will serve me well in the future

Having structure and discipline around creation is something I’m looking forward to establishing in my daily routine

I want to leverage this new skill to produce content in other types of media

The essays that I write daily can help me work on thoughts and ideas I have that want to further develop. Once an essay is done, it can be repurposed into a podcast by recording it, into a video with some cool photography, or a digital product that can be distributed to others through the internet.

Over the next 30 days, I plan on writing about starting a business at age 50, executive search and recruiting, personal development, and my life experiences.

Join me on this adventure—and let me know if you have any questions along the way!

I’m excited to start sharing what I know online.

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