I was looking at the How I Made My Millions. Great show on CNBC on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Check it out!
It showcases successful business owners, what their business is, and how they made their millions. This past Sunday, it highlighted about ten entrepreneurs. Some of them have started well known organizations that we are all familiar with like Burt’s Bees and 1-800 Flowers.
I am fascinated by the stories. It keeps me inspired and I learn some valuable lessons as well.
We tend to think we are the only ones that have ever lived through the trials and tribulations of starting and building a successful business. No one told you it would be this hard! And why does it feel like it is taking forever for the big payoff to happen?
At some point, we may feel like giving up. Don’t!
There have been plenty of people that have walked that road less traveled. Here are some lessons they learned during the journey. These are really simple lessons to understand but not always easy to live.
Lesson #1 - It all starts with an idea and a dream. Where will Your Genius Emerge? Look around you? What problem are you or the people around you experiencing? One of the business owners loved popcorn. He ate it every night as a snack. He started experimenting with different seasonings that he could use on the popcorn to make it more flavorful. His business: A multi-million dollar company selling different seasonings. Can you believe it?
Lesson #2 - You don’t need funding to start your business. Bert and John Jacobs started selling T-shirts in 1989 out of their van at colleges and street fairs. There are so many creative ways that you can start a business without outside financing. I will be sharing at least fifty ways in a new e book that I am writing. More details coming soon.
Lesson #3 - It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Bert and John lived out of their van during their travels sleeping on top of the stacks of t-shirts and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They did this for five years before they came upon a great t-shirt slogan, Life is Good, which catapulted them to creating a multi-million dollar business.
Lesson #4 - What looks like your biggest mistake could be your biggest opportunity. The owner of 1-800 Flowers had a flower shop for several years before he bought someone else’s flower shop named 1-800 Flowers. He didn’t realize that there was a significant debt that the company owed which he became liable for when he bought the business.
He had to create a new business model to stay in business. If not, he would lose his business and his investment. Hence, the 1 800 Flowers franchise was born.
Lesson #5 - Don’t be afraid of rejection. One of the owners made his millions by creating a toy water gun! He was like a rocket scientist. No pun intended. He was experimenting with this propeller apparatus. By accident, it kept shooting out water with a good velocity. He realized it would make a good toy gun! It took him seven years to find a company that was willing to help him get his toy gun on the market.
Lesson #6 - Be prepared to make mistakes. Even the most successful entrepreneurs make business decisions that could be devastating. BUT, once you’re successful, you will always be successful because you have what it takes to be successful again.
Ted Turner, founder of CNN, lost his fortune due to AOL/Time Warner merger. Literally, it costs him billions of dollars. Fortunately, he regained it and is still a billionaire.
The most important thing to remember is you have everything you need to Live Your Vision. Stay Inspired.