One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is that you don’t have to be at the head of the class to succeed. I consider myself a fairly intelligent business owner, and it’s not something I acquired in a classroom or from a textbook. Sure, my education has been useful in growing my
business, but it’s the lessons I’ve learned following school that have impacted me tremendously. These crucial,
real-life business experiences have been attained by learning the successes – and, more importantly, the mistakes of other entrepreneurs and then applying their ideas and successes to my company, TV Ears (www.tvears.com).
I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up bits and pieces of valuable information from folks who are much smarter and more seasoned than me. Learning from the best and brightest is the key to success and following these four steps will help you and your business in the long-run.
Building relationships. Relationship building is one of the most essential factors to focus on when owning your own business. It’s not just what you know, but also who you know. Developing connections with intelligent business folks gives you an opportunity to learn more, which can have a positive effect on your business. Remember to make new friends – and more importantly, smart ones.
Pick their brain. Asking questions is crucial to any learning process. When you’ve been presented with a golden opportunity to sit down and converse with an expert, take advantage of this. If someone is willing to give you their time and talk to you, use it wisely and come prepared with questions and get as much out of it as you can.
Incorporate. Getting valuable insights is not enough. Entrepreneurs who expect to succeed must figure out how to apply these lessons learned to their own business in order to thrive.
Be a mentor and educate others. As entrepreneurs we belong to an elite group of individuals that represent what is great about the free enterprise system and this country. When an entrepreneur succeeds, our country succeeds, and everyone is a little bit better off. As part of this important group it is our obligation to help each other. So when the opportunity to help comes upon you, resist the conventional thinking of getting ahead of everyone else, remember how you were helped along the way, and return the favor-its part of the process.
You don’t have to be the Valedictorian to run a successful company. The most important business lessons are available in the real-world and the key is to find influential and smart people to learn from. What’s more, getting these great ideas and insights can be achieved by reading their blogs, if a face-to-face encounter is not feasible. I’m extremely grateful to those entrepreneurs who have taught me how to walk the walk and talk the talk. I owe a great deal of my company’s success to them.