Over the years, I’ve had a few people ask me what my opinions are on finding success as an entrepreneur.
To answer this, I like to tell a story of two people I know:
One of them is a financial banker. We’ll call him Bob. Bob works hard, makes a good salary and puts in the hours. On weekends, you’ll almost always find him playing golf. He loves the sport; for as long as I remember, he’s dreamed of being a PGA golf player.
The other person whom we’ll call Carl is married and runs a family business selling fireplaces online. He spends most of his time at the factory working and during his free time, reads. He’s never played golf — he’s actually never had interest in any sports.
One day, while eating lunch with both Bob and Carl, I mention to Bob someone I met recently: a former PGA golf coach. I offered to intro him knowing Bob’s craze for all things golf related.
Surprisingly, he said no.
“Nah, that’s alright. I still love golf but I’ll never get good at it anyways. I should probably just focus on something else.”
Even more surprisingly afterwards, Carl spoke up:
“Hey, if that’s the case, I’ll take the intro actually if you don’t mind. Maybe it’ll come in useful.”
So I gave Carl the intro and thought nothing of it.
Fast forward 3 years later, Carl is now a millionaire. He’s grown his family business of selling fireplaces from $200,000 to past 1 million dollars in revenue every year.
His secret? Using the golf tips he learned from the PGA golf coach to connect and bond with clients. He didn’t just see an an opportunity to use the intro I’ve given him, he seized it. He took initiate to ask for that intro and managed to utilize that to his advantage and grow his business.
It’s funny how it turned out. Two people on two extreme sides of the spectrum. One of them rejected the opportunity even when it was presented to them, while the other made it his mission to hustle, to ask for it.
Everyone talks about what’s required to be successful- you need persistence, you need to put in the effort, etc. We all know this; this is stuff everyone talks about. What people don’t talk enough about is the act of creating opportunities when it doesn’t exist.
This means taking initiative, hustling, asking for something. The levels of success you’ll see as an entrepreneur is highly dependent on your ability to seize the moment. Opportunities are made available to those who ask. If you never take the initiative, you’ll just be like everyone else.
It’s rarely a level playing field when it comes to business. Your competitors will often have more money, more connections, more growth — more everything. The only way to offset those disadvantages is by asking and creating those very opportunities. People are more often than not, willing to help, but they won’t know to help unless you ask.
It’s true what they say about success:
Success doesn’t just come and find you, you have to go out and get it — Evan Carmichael