Some people would no doubt describe me as “successful,” but I seem to generate new goals for myself and my business in such a way that I can not recall a time when I stopped and said, “Wow, I’ve made it. Today I’m a success.”
I’ve held “profitability” and “grand opening” parties, but never a “We’re Now a Success” party.
I started my first business with $276 and an unemployed husband. I made 2¢ an hour on my first account 25 years ago. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that approach to other people, but the need for mortgage money helped me.
My mission has long been “to be a positive force of economic development.” It has served me well. I’ve even met three Presidents in the Oval Office of the White House.
The best part is that some of the most fascinating people anyone could ever meet are my clients. They are the CEOs who are “doing it,” taking the risks, creating the jobs, providing real products and services.
During the early years, my consulting firm grew through a combination of association networking and our being willing to go the extra mile.
I can’t honestly say that our early progress was due to clear vision, great strategies, or clear priorities. We just worked very, very hard.
Over the years, the emphasis of my work has changed from selling and doing every part of the client assignments to developing the professional staff and leading geographic expansion for the firm, to leading marketing and diagnostic projects, to branching out into other businesses.
My businesses have grown through networking, equity deals, strategic alliances, joint ventures, licensing, international expansion, a focus on 4 to 5 key industries, specialization and diversification.
My advice to another business owner certainly would depend on his/her goals, skills, and resources, but I have noticed that I often recommend that they should expect that their goals, roles, likes, dislikes, and even their definitions of success will change over time–several times, in fact.
What does it take to “make it happen?” It sure helps if you really enjoy what you are doing.
I still get such a rush from helping bright people lose that glassy eyed look and move to the next level of success in their businesses.