The 3 Leadership Essentials for Every Entrepreneur… And The One Game Changer!
05.15.13 | Posted in Guest Blog
One of the great things that occurs is this line of work that I’m blessed to do is that you get a chance to be there for someone at a key, critical juncture in their life. Our guest blogger today is Barry Spencer. I’ve known Barry since 1999, but it was right after I retired from TALX and moved back to Atlanta in 2008, that I started coaching Barry as he was trying to figure out how to launch his dream. To say he’s been successful is an understatement! He took a very personal experience that didn’t go well and has turned it into something to help others avoid his family’s mistake with regard to wealth preservation and inheritance. Little known fact: most 2nd generation businesses fail due to a lack of planning and strategy before the founding principles pass away. That is what Barry and his business partner do….help family owned businesses or people with wealth determine how best to leave a positive legacy. I think you’ll like Barry’s blog post today. If so, let us hear from you!
They told me I couldn’t do it… and to not even try. More on that in a minute, but first I got to thinking about it…
Who are “they” anyway? Usually it’s people who haven’t done it themselves in the real world. Certainly it’s people who prefer to be critics instead of doers. Have you noticed that memorials are never built in honor of critics?!
Well, neither do successful entrepreneurial ventures get started by critics. Entrepreneurs are too busy taking risks to solve real problems and don’t waste time being a critic or responding to them.
For one, entrepreneurial leaders use their energy to Find A Hole In An Industry and Add Value.
When my friend Dave Cook and his sister were new to their high school they became frustrated with the challenge of making friends. Instead of criticizing high school classmates for being mean or unfriendly, they sought a simpler way to meet new friends.
They created a website for meeting people to just hang out using simple games and quizzes. This website became myYearbook.com and before they graduated from college myYearbook became meetMe.com in a $100 Million deal! Not bad for a couple of high school kids.
Who has watched ABC’s Hit TV Show “Secret Millionaire”? My friend James Malinchak resisted being on the show. But the storyline of truly helping good people and being financially generous to them tugged at the heart of this rags-to-riches entrepreneur. James gave me two priceless words, “I Think.”
James says these two words will make you broke faster than others. So as an entrepreneur charging ahead into the unknown, the best pioneers always hire coaches and mentors Who Have Been Stupider Longer.
This second essential principle reminds me to shift my thought from “I think” to “who might”… know better than me… help me find the solution faster… understand the problem more clearly.
My friend Ed Chaffin helped me do this at a pivotal moment as I was creating Wealth With No Regrets. If not for his influence, my system for helping business owners keep more of what they make may never have come to fruition.
Not long ago I took a group of entrepreneurs to New York to go behind the scenes with a panel of entrepreneurs who had started a business from scratch and grown it to $100 million or more.
One of those entrepreneurs we got the chance to meet was Bonnie Baskin, a single mom of two children, who built two businesses that sold for over $200 Million. Her key to success is going above and beyond to serve customers, treating them like your own family and children.
Think about it. When family is at its best, you treat each other with patience, listen closely, show genuine concern, seek to propel them forward and find the best in them.
Imagine taking this approach with every prospect, client and team member – Treating ALL People as Family. What might happen to the growth of your business!
And now for the one game changer that makes all the difference for the entrepreneur. Because unlike the corporate employee of a large established company, there is no hiding or riding the wave of someone else’s accomplishments.
It is the one thing that if you do it, gives you and your business a better chance of success than any other activity. It is also the scariest thing to do and most often brings out the critics, maybe in your own mind.
The seed for this idea was planted by a lifelong personal friend of both Bill Gates and Michael Dell, Mark Tebbe, when he spoke to my group at a private gathering at the New York Stock Exchange. Mark has built multiple businesses from scratch however he is best recognized as the founder of Answers.com, which launched because Mark Tebbe didn’t wait around until the technology was perfected.
By launching the idea, a developer at Google fell in love with the technology, which led to Answers.com having its link on the Google homepage for nearly five years. Mark lives by the motto, ‘Done beats perfect every time.’
The one game changer influenced by this statement by Tebbe that is essential for every entrepreneur is taking Massive Action Fast. Certainly it is to be informed, but always massive and always fast.
You got to get out there – your message, your product, your service or whatever it is you’re doing to make the world better for people. The people using it and the marketplace will tell what works and what needs to change.
The one thing “they” – my teachers and professors – told me never to do was write. So when I finished my latest book, The Secret of Enduring Wealth, I never expected anyone to read it.
Then Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway and owner of NBA Orlando Magic commented, “As the co-founder of a family business who has taken these steps I can highly recommend Barry Spencer’s book.”
If only I could take that comment and my book to those teachers… well, I’ll just settle for the feedback that comes from wealthy successful entrepreneurs who read it cover to cover thanking me for helping them think about their wealth in ways they had never done before.
And it’s this feedback process from real world interactions with you and whatever it is that you’re doing that tips the scale in your favor letting you know you are on the right track.
Barry, thank you for an incredible, motivating blog!
Onward & Upward!
Resources – Barry’s website: