Sunday, July 28, 2013

5 Entrepreneurial Skills That Will Make You More Influential and Successful

The Myth of Having Inborn Entrepreneurial Skills
Most people are under the impression that to be successful, the mentality, attitude and the entrepreneurial skills are things that someone is born with, but nothing could be further from the truth.
How would your world change if you were able to influence those around you to do whatever you wanted? How different would your life be if you reached levels of success that you never thought possible just by tweaking your mindset and actions?
You may not believe this, but did you know that there is no such thing as a natural born leader?
Know what this means? This means that you are able to learn the mindset, attitude and the entrepreneurial skills that successful people seem to "magically" possess.
What separate's a leader from a follower is that they made the decision to choose their own path, walk it, making and sticking to their own decisions, and having an end goal in mind.
Sure it takes a lot of practice, emotional growth, a few stumbles here and there, but wouldn't living a life where you are in complete control trounce the one where you are spent following a road someone else laid out for you?
Now this may contradict what I just said, but for every leader to be made, they first have to follow the right person (a peer or role model if you will), learn to be an action taker, and have a positive, enthusiastic outlook on things.
Once the person has been conditioned well enough to possess confidence and strength of character will they finally burst forth from their cocoon and venture out into the world as a unique... butterfly (hmm that sounds a bit too girly and cliché for my liking LOL).
Now from what I've seen from the self made millionaires and entrepreneurs, they all have these 5 entrepreneurial skills in common that have helped them get to where they are today.
The 5 Entrepreneurial Skills that Will Change Your Life... If you Let Them
#1/ Self confidence:
This should be no surprise. Building your own enterprise is a risky business, and those who believe in their own capabilities, and abilities to get them out of the little (or sometimes not so little) snags are the ones who flourish compared to the ones who doubt themselves constantly.
So believing that you are smart enough, capable, diligent, deserving and destined for greater things will no doubt take you to exactly where you want to go, and beyond.
Once you have this skill down, the other entrepreneurial skills will follow suit more easily.
#2/ Being an action taker:
For things to progress, you must do something.
From something as small as buying a relevant ebook, to something as big as going all in financially for a business campaign.
Now I'm not saying to spend money recklessly. Far from it.
I'm trying to say that you must be willing to invest in yourself, your education, your marketing, and your business in general to succeed.
Being stingy will only take you so far. So if you really want the lifestyle and money that the top earners have, then you must get to work and be willing to pay for the tools and systems required to get you there.
As Rob Fore puts it, "Being cheap will keep you broke!"
#3/ Accepting responsibility for yourself:
It's all too easy to play the blame game nowadays, so if you've heard of the saying, "If you want to be rich, just do the opposite of what everyone else is doing", then you're going to want to pay attention.
Out of all the entrepreneurial skills that I am listing here, this is the one that most people have a hard time swallowing.
The difference between rich people and everyone else is that they take complete responsibility for all the happenings in their life. This is not to say that every bad thing that has happened in your life is your fault, but it is your responsibility in how you react and handle the situations that come your way.
Quite a kick in the spleen since I resisted this one for awhile, but it's certainly made me open up my eyes as to why I was unhappy for such a long time. If you blame others, that means you believe you are not in control of your life.
Notice how all the people who are broke like to complain and not do anything about it? Be the opposite and stop complaining and get your butt into gear.
So if you find yourself going nowhere with your business, look at what you are doing first before you go blaming the marketing program, system or company that you are with. More often than not, it's you either doing the wrong things, or not being productive enough that is making you go around in circles.
#4 / Having the ability to care for others:
This is one of the most crucial entrepreneurial skills that I am outlining in this post so pay extra attention because there are so many selfish marketers out there who only care about making money, and not enough about their team.
You wonder why 97% of network marketers fail?
This is why.
Too many selfish people caring about making a quick buck off of someone and then vanishing into thin air... forever. Never to be heard from again.
I happen to be friends with marketers in other people's teams who have been left to fend for themselves in the overwhelming world that is internet marketing. And even though they are not in my MLM company, or any other business ventures of mine, I still help them as best as I can when they need it.
Too often do people pitch endlessly about their opportunity and too little about offering value and helping people.
When you take the time to help someone else, and actually show that you care, you may be surprised that that person could become one of your closest friends, or the star player in your team that will make you hundreds and thousands of dollars.
I've talked to a few business partners of mine who have had this happen to them (recruiting someone who no one cared about and that person made them $100K+). So it could happen to you too if you take the time to care.
#5/ An annoyingly, intense stubbornness to never give up:
Before you roll your eyes and exclaim, "Oh man not this again. So cliche", there is a reason why I saved this for last.
All the entrepreneurial skills I listed will mean next to nothing if you leave this one out.
It's the defining entrepreneurial skill that carries someone all the way across the voyage from dead broke to financially independent.
I'm not sure if it's society nowadays or not, but people are more lazy than ever. Could be due to the increase in technology and how it's super convenient (ironic how I'm leveraging technology to make me money xD) that is making people forget what it really means to stick your neck out and do some hard work.
And to prove my point, I'm going to bring up the 97% failure rate statistic again.
I've heard a lot of, "Man this is so hard... I'm going back to my job 'cause it's easier", that if I earned 5c for every time I've heard it, I'd be quite well off.
Just because something is hard, does not mean that you give up, act like a complete wussy and settle for something less!
There are so many successful network marketers like Mike Dillard, Ray Higdon, David Wood, Jonathan Budd and more who have struggled for months, even years to be able to make that insane residual income of $200K+ per month living in multi-million dollar houses because they never gave up even when failure slapped them in the face countless times.
If these guys can nurture these entrepreneurial skills so can you.
So if you are thinking of giving up, do you really want to go back to the 9-5 life? Or having to ask for someone's permission to take your wife/husband or kids to a holiday?
How Can These Entrepreneurial Skills Help Me?
Success comes to the people who have worked for it, deserve it, and who have paid their dues to earn it.
By building these 5 entrepreneurial skills within yourself, you will find that results will come easier, quicker and that people will be flocking to you when you focus on helping and providing value.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Entrepreneurial Ideas - The Most Powerful Precise Way to Double Your Salary in 12 Months Or Less

The small business advice that wives give their husbands:
Did you know that today and everyday over 200,000 people are online right now as we speak looking for entrepreneurial resources or a way to start a new business from home?
Everybody is seeking entrepreneurial ideas from Holly the housewife to Frank the CEO no one's exempt.
And with the cancer that's sickening our economy leaving 2.6 million people without jobs and anticipating 50 million more world wide, even Joe the plumber could end up in the soup line if he don't join the entrepreneur club.
When was the last time our country has seen a time like this ...the great depression?
Many people are hanging on by a thread to their cars, houses, and what's left of their skimpy 401 k's.
Business owners don't know what to do so they just close their doors forcing thousands more out of jobs almost weekly.
If million dollar businesses are closing what makes me think a small business start up is possible in a time of crisis... Is this the question you're asking yourself?
Entrepreneurial Ideas: That Special Something that Inspires Every Successful Professional to start a new Business venture
Step away from the problem for a minute. Everyone is thinking the Recession is the problem. Let's examine some entrepreneurial ideas that require some innovation and creative thinking skills. Could the Recession be the solution to our economic problems?
Could this potentially be the perfect time for a low-cost start up business?
How long could the average family afford costly houses some doubling after 60 days of ownership, $5.00 gas prices, the average car price $35,000, and inflation rising into the hemisphere?
The Recession saves the day for those that understand (and many do)... the trends and cycles of economics which will set new records with ground-breaking entrepreneurial ideas.
Learn 3 ways to out produce big business in a low-cost start up business
These same 3 discoveries are what assist entrepreneurial success and small businesses to thrive:
1. Big business has lost control: we all know people that work for large corporations or have witnessed first hand the slackers on their jobs... their main objective is to come up with entrepreneurial ideas to try to creatively manipulate "father time-clock".
Their sole purpose is to see how innovative they can become to not work eight hours a day... Then you have those human walkie talkie's... yep.... they don't do squat all-day but talk ...I'm pretty sure those lost hours weren't calculated into the business start-up cost. Can you believe the average employee actually works less than 4 hours a day?
2. Big business many times isn't fair: Why does it seem that the most qualified persons with the best entrepreneurial ideas are NOT leading the team.
Many time the most egotistical, narcissistic co-worker ends-up with the magical position as the manager which kills entrepreneurial spirit, originality and inspiration. Wouldn't it seem like any successful entrepreneur could see that "John" is messing up big time so why is he still the manager?
"Why not chose another manager"? Some big Businesses just don't get it...encouraging entrepreneurial ideas will be critical in the new economy because competition will force businesses to cut loose the dead weight even if it's their best buddy.
3. Big Business comes with big-risk: and the biggest risk is balancing between doing what's best for the company or what's best for the stockholders. What most people don't realize is that companies don't always do what's in the best interest of their employees (shocking I know) but rather what's in the interest of the stock holders.
And some of the greedy money sucking, stock holders and CEO's have one goal and one goal only... WIIFM (what's in it for me) to make as much money as humanly or inhumanly possible, many times at the expense of thousands of others.
With the aid of CNN news and the internet we don't have to elaborate on that issue much ... E.g. $35,000.00 Toilets, private or corporate jets, cooking the books, (accounting errors) Etc...
An old song is playing in my head... "God bless a child that has his Own." And for those that are metaphorically challenged that's simply means" God bless the child that has her own home based small business'
Well I've done my part. The statistics splattered all over the nightly news and in the Local Newspaper don't scare Me. "Are you goanna let 'em intimidate you"?
Will you put on your entrepreneurial thinking helmet and get in the game.
100,000 people (mostly traditional business owners and other professionals) are thrilled about exercising their new found entrepreneurial ideas since most big businesses are sinking faster than the titanic...
Imagine not worrying or caring about the economy or about where your next meal is coming from, who's going to watch the kids while you work 2 jobs or will you even be employed next week, month or year.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ten Attributes Of An Entrepreneurial Titan

"Conviction is a belief you hold... and it holds you."
Bobby Allison
Entrepreneurial titans envision dominating an industry. Walt Disney, Howard Schultz, Bill Gates, both Watsons, Coco Channel, Bill France, Sam Walton, and Henry Ford didn't just rise to dominate their industry - they created or unalterably changed their industries. Each suffered disappointment as fellow pioneers couldn't or wouldn't share their vision. Each struggled for years against enormous financial odds. Each remained steadfast, carefully putting in place one block after another until everyone could finally see their castle in the sky. Each endeavor eventually reached critical mass, exploding onto the world scene with all the appearance of an overnight success christened by luck. Each industrialist achieved their vision through audacity, perseverance, and uncommon skill. None understood the enmity or envy of those who declined to take the trip with them.
What each of these entrepreneurs had in mind was something larger and grander than anyone had previously imagined. They didn't want to merely win; they wanted to elevate the game to a whole new level. The world is filled with dreamers, but these people had a quality that went beyond dreaming: They had the ego, skill, and determination to make their dreams a reality for the rest of us.
Entrepreneurial Titans, independent of their business, display a surprising consistency in character. We call these characteristics the Ten Traits of Entrepreneurial Titans. As you examine these extraordinary people, the similarities become striking. The titans love what they do, constantly imagine taking their empires to a higher elevation, communicate clearly, approach their business with a marketing perspective, continuously improve their products and services, stay in constant contact with every aspect of their business, think strategically and act opportunistically, relentlessly pursue their goals, take whatever risks are necessary, and surround themselves with exceptionally talented people.
Since few of us will ever try to reach their level of accomplishment, how valuable is it to study these traits? Success in any endeavor requires the same attributes. It is not a difference in kind, only in hue. The titans single-handedly change our lives, but our economy is moved along more by the cumulative effect of thousands of smaller successes. Understanding-and emulating-the traits of the titans will help you dominate your small corner of the world.
The Ten Traits of Entrepreneurial Titans
1. Love of Aspiration
2. Uncommon and Unwavering Vision
3. Skilled Communicators
4. Market Focused
5. Product Obsessed
6. Always Engaged
7. Strategic, Tactical, Opportunistic
8. Driven and Tenacious
9. Risks Takers
10. Collectors of Bright and Talented People
Bill France Sr. (NASCAR) started racing in high school, Steven Spielberg operated a film camera for years before he was eligible to apply for a drivers license, Bill Gates wrote his first program prior to the invention of personal computers, Charles Barkley practiced jumping over a backyard fence in junior high school, Walt Disney doodled as a doughboy in World War I, and Warren Buffet bought his first stock at age eleven. These examples became icons in stock car racing, film, computers, basketball, family entertainment, and investing.
We could list many more examples of people who started honing their skills extremely young. An early start, however, has less to do with their success than you might expect. The real secret is that they stayed with a profession that claimed their heart, mind, and spirit. Entrepreneurial titans get people excited about their vision. This is hard to accomplish if you're not excited yourself. Think about it-all these people got rich doing what they liked best in the world. They didn't go to work in the morning; they went to play at their favorite pastime.
Jealous people like to portray entrepreneurial titans as unhappy and obsessed. This may be only half true. Obsessed people are happy only when they're engaged in their obsession. By this measure, entrepreneurial titans are a happy lot. The breed may be happy, but they are never satisfied despite their accumulated accomplishments. Titans always feel compelled to climb the next peak-one shrouded to everyone else by a misty haze.
Now look at your own professional life. Are you excited when you wake and disappointed when the day is done. If not, then ask yourself why you originally chose your profession. Most of us found our jobs exciting when everything was fresh. If you've gone stale, you need to find a way to rekindle your enthusiasm. On the other hand, if you became trapped by expediency, you may need to consider starting over. If you want to emulate the titans, you must enjoy your work. We all have a secret aspiration. If you have to drag yourself into work, then take your secret aspiration out of the recesses of your mind and find a way to make money doing what you love. No matter what it is-if you get creative-you can have more fun and make more money.
Entrepreneurial titans see things differently than the rest of us. Bill France and Walt Disney believed that if they respectively built Daytona Speedway and Disneyland, people would storm into their parks. Henry Ford saw the automobile as a ordinary family appliance, not as a toy for the well-to-do. When computers were the size of a small house, Bill Gates foresaw a computer on every desktop. Coco Channel visualized simplicity as elegance and style. Ted Turner perceived a ready audience for 24 hour a day news. Entrepreneurial titans possess vision beyond the commonplace and never waver from their view of the possible.
Their vision tends to remain constant, but they continually elevate their sights to a higher plane. Despite all his accomplishments, Walt Disney never finished making his dreams come true. He pushed sound into cartoons, made the first full-length animated movie against everyone's advice, and built an amusement park that defied every convention of the entertainment industry. Toward the end of his life, he left the confines of fantasy with Epcot Center, intent on showing people how to build an entire city. If Disney had lived long enough, perhaps he would have reengineered the world.
Everyone has a passion. The trick is to visualize how to take your passion to a new or enlarged market. Despite the internet being around for decades, it took web browsers to make it easy for everyone to traverse the information superhighway. The human body always needed fuel, but Ray Kroc made fast food part of our culture. Automotive tires remained static for years until the radial came along to reenergize the industry. Thomas Jefferson, and the other founding fathers, even visualized redesigning government for the new world.
Entrepreneurial titans are not smarter than other people; they merely spend more time thinking about how to change the dynamics of their passion. They're individuals who consciously look at things from different angles until they get a unique perspective. Although some people seem to have a natural knack for visualization, this skill can be further developed in anyone. It just takes practice. Take your passion and question everything about it. Sooner-but probably later-you'll come up with a twist or completely new concept that can propel your passion into a livelihood.
Unless you're an artist or writer, it's unlikely you can single-handedly make your vision come to life. When you need resources or skills beyond your personal capability, you must convincingly communicate your vision to others. People can't follow you unless they know where you're going. Entrepreneurs communicate their vision and sell all the time. They sell their vision, their ideas, their organizations, their products, and themselves.
Characteristics of Good Communication
1) Clear and simple,
2) repetitive,
3) illustrative.
Entrepreneurial titans explain their ideas and concepts until the uninitiated understand, they repeat their message at every opportunity, and they use illustrative examples. Their intent is to paint a picture in people's minds-a picture that people can see and strive toward. The description is generally short, always clear, and frequently presented as an allegory or metaphor. When Bill Gates first started running around talking to everyone about a computer on every desktop, computers for individuals were the province of introverted hobbyists. Entrepreneurial titans may not hit on the best description immediately, but they keep experimenting until they find the right words and expressions to get the world to endorse their ideas-or at least enough of the world to build their dream.
Entrepreneurial titans don't build edifices merely to massage their egos- they also want the public to come in droves. These are not private dreams. To attract customers, they think about their business from a marketing perspective. They target a specific market segment, brand their product, ceaselessly promote their wares, and use value pricing that baffles their competitors.
Market Focused Titans
1. Target a Specific Market Segment
2. Brand Products
3. Promote Relentlessly
4. Price for Value
Market Segmentation
Entrepreneurial titans study the marketplace until they find a segment they can dominate-then they focus on this segment until they own it. Walt Disney stridently kept his enterprise focused on family entertainment. Howard Schultz restricted the amount of food sold in Starbucks. Bill France never ventured away from racing stockcars. McDonalds never branched into fine dining. Coco Channel never endorsed a Sears line of clothing. Penske stayed focused on transportation.
You seldom see a scatter-gun approach from one of the entrepreneurial titans. They constantly enlarge their customer base, but generally they accomplish this objective by extending the boundaries of their existing market.
Penske does not own race teams and blaze his name all over his products just because he wants people to see his name. He understands the value of branding a product. IBM, in its heyday, became so closely associated with computers that the computer in the movie 2001 was named HAL, which is IBM lowered by one letter in the alphabet. The Golden Arches are synonymous with McDonalds. Ted Turner made CNN into a worldwide recognized brand. Despite lots of other entries, Steve Jobs got the world to view IPod as the only branded entry in the personal music market.
Branding requires more than advertising and promotion. An irrevocable law of the marketplace is that products must always be consistent with the branded image. Imagine if Apple introduced a new product with a clunky design. The product would not only flop, it would shock and disappoint Apple enthusiasts-so much that it would probably erode the market share of other Apple products. Imagine if Gucci came out with products priced for the middle class. Oh wait, they did, and Gucci is still struggling to regain the brand cachet.
Coco Channel insisted that her designs could be identified on sight. When you went to a Disney movie-at least when Walt was alive-you knew exactly what to expect. Ray Kroc dictated that every McDonalds restaurant anywhere in the world serve food to the exact same specifications. Auto Zone operates over 1500 stores that look identical. Entrepreneurial titans find a formula, brand it into the consciousness of the world, and then strive to never harm their brand by misusing it.
Promote Products and Organization
Walt Disney insisted that every part of his entertainment enterprise promote every other part. The park promoted the movies, the films were used to leverage the television program, and television promoted everything in Walt's kingdom. You can see the same philosophy demonstrated in Penske Enterprises, France's multiple endeavors, and Bill Gates software strategy. Once momentum is established in one area, it is used to launch product extensions or to support weaker areas. Entrepreneurial titans sell and promote relentlessly.
Walmart and Nordstrom use different pricing models which correspond with their chosen market. They both leverage their size, local market conditions, and customer preferences to stock merchandise that represent a value to their customers. Each department store appeals to a different economic segment, but both chains have established pricing policies to insure that customers feel like they got more for their money than if they drove down the street to another store. Rendering value in exchange for the customer's hard earned cash generates ever-increasing sales.
Entrepreneurial titans exhibit an ever-present concern over pricing and value. Despite the expense of Coco Channel's fashions, she made sure her customers felt like they received a timeless design for their patronage. Henry Ford's entire business was predicated on a new pricing model. Microsoft consistently uses pricing as a competitive weapon. NASCAR allows each track to independently negotiate their own television contract so pricing stays consistent with the market appeal of a specific race. If you aspire to emulate the entrepreneurial titans, you need to personally involve yourself in pricing decisions so you can insure that you maintain your customer base and they are so pleased with your value equation that they help you lure new customers into the fold.
Entrepreneurial titans are distinguished by an obsession with their products or services. Beyond enthusiastically extolling their products to everyone within earshot, they involve themselves in every aspect of the product life cycle. They love what they do and they love the products that come from their passion. Entrepreneurial titans crave growth, and growth requires producing something people want to buy. People who build empires shun cost cutting, cash cow strategies because they find running in place boring-and unacceptable. They don't chase after money, they chase after empire, and money just follows.
Entrepreneurial titans are characteristically innovators, not inventors. Inventors tend to be inwardly focused with analytical minds, while the titans' vision comes from being hyper-alert to the peopled world around them. Although titans may not be inventive, they see markets for new technology that the inventor never anticipated. They view products from the consumer's perspective, constantly thinking up new ways to increase buyer appeal. They change the scale of their products, innovate around the edges, force new market segmentation, discover new applications for existing technology, and rejuvenate mature products with new designs and packaging.
Entrepreneurial titans constantly search for ever-improving products. Disney's clean and tidy park, McDonalds' exacting specifications for fries, Microsoft's relentless product improvement, Walmart's use of computers, CNN's compulsion to be first in news worldwide, and NASCAR's fan-friendly image all represent examples of the titan's pursuit of exemplary products and services. The customer is never to be disappointed.
Entrepreneurial titans stay engaged in every aspect of their business. Genuine titans never put their companies on cruise control. In return, the titans receive unflagging loyalty from their customer. From product development, pricing, packaging, staffing, brick and mortar, strategy, publicity, financing, and myriad other details, the titans tend to hold tight reins. This doesn't mean they don't delegate, but they tend to restrict subordinates' freedom until they demonstrate a consistent application of the titan's vision.
Today, most people speak reverently of Walt Disney, but a few ol' timers criticize his omnipresent enforcement of his personal vision. Bill Gates is notorious for digging into the intricate details of Microsoft's products. Henry Ford intimately involved himself in both product design and production processes. Bill France Sr. shared a fetish with Walt Disney for a neat and tidy park.
Many titans invent shortcuts to keep a watchful eye on everything. Disney required his animators to post their work outside their offices. Then in the evening, after they went home, he would wander around sticking colored-coded pins in work he either liked or felt needed further development.
Entrepreneurial titans possess a vision that is larger than they can deliver on their own. They must employ people, so the titans spend the majority of their time tuning other people's work so it stays consistent with their vision. Walt Disney described his management style as being like a bee, flitting from point to point pollinating ideas. People with a vision of their own tend to learn the ropes from the titans, then move on to a venue where they have more personal freedom of expression. Entrepreneurial titans run entrepreneurial schools, where graduates frequently build related businesses in close proximity to their mentors. In the long run, however, entrepreneurs do not work for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurial titans think strategically. Their strategy tends to remain consistent over a long period-frequently for their entire life. They know exactly where they want to go and chart a course to get there. Because their vision doesn't waver, their strategy can remain relatively constant. No annual strategic planning exercises for them, the vision and strategy are so imbued within their entire organization that they concentrate on tactical plans.
The titans adjust their tactics depending on competition, finances, the economy, and industry trends. Bill Gates originally underestimated the importance of Internet technology, but quickly redirected resources when his mistake became obvious. Despite the reallocation of resources, his strategy of desktop dominance never wavered. In fact, his strategic imperative of controlling the desktop accelerated his awareness that a threat existed from another technology. Once refocused, Microsoft used the same business strategy to vanquish competitors in the browser wars. That is the advantage of a consistent, well-thought-out strategy, the whole organization can change directions in lock-step without detailed instructions.
The titans are uniformly strategic and tactical, but their real secret is an ingrained ability to seize opportunity. A strategic consistency educates everyone in the organization so that when an unexpected opportunity arises, people recognize and leverage it immediately. Entrepreneurial titans understand that a clear vision and consistent strategy enable opportunism.
Titans approach life with a single-mindedness that scares mere mortals. These highly goal-oriented people feel compelled to take their dream to the next level and make it a reality. To accomplish any huge undertaking requires endurance, tenacity and a strong force of will and will to achieve far outweighs any other talent or asset. These are driven people.
We may not share the strength of their compulsion, but we all understand that our smaller dreams also require a concerted and sustained effort. The lesson here is that if you don't really want it bad enough, luck will seldom present it as a gift. You need to get out there and earn it the ol' fashioned way. Henry Ford once said, "Nobody is proud of what they intend to do."
What separates dreamers from doers is a willingness to take enormous risks. The titans always retain supreme confidence in their vision, so even when they're unsure about their abilities, this faith gives them the confidence to repeatedly risk their accomplishments-to-date to reach for the next plateau. Once you become content to ride your previous accomplishments, growth stops, and entrepreneurial titans never stop. Nothing comes free, and continued success requires assuming ever-increasing risk.
In 1988, General Motors wanted to rid itself of moribund Detroit Diesel. Solomon Brothers couldn't find a buyer for an engine supplier that could claim only a 3% market share. Desperate, GM finally cut a deal with Roger Penske for $35 million. Penske quickly reversed the downward spiral, cut costs, introduced new products, and established strategic relationships with his other operations. By 1991, market share had increased to 26%, sales doubled, and the number of hours-per-engine dropped from 72 to 13. Penske sold 25% of Detroit Diesel to the public in 1993 for $95 million, $60 million more than he paid for the entire company. How did he do it? Penske says, "We took more risks."
An ability to realistically appraise the potential reward against the required risk separates the foolish from the astute businessperson. Bill Gates worked in partnership with IBM until he calculated that the potential rewards of going on alone compensated for the risk. Disney felt comfortable with his repeated bet-your-company ventures because he had a longer time horizon than his bankers. The titans take risks-but their multi-dimensional thinking finds an edge that the more conventional overlook.
Talent does not intimidate true leaders. They know they need highly capable people with many different skills to build their dream. The entrepreneurial titans recognize talent in an eye blink and immediately pull these people into their organization. Smarter, more capable, and experienced people give the titans a distinct advantage over their average competitors.
NASCAR racing is a pure meritocracy. Competition weeds out mediocre drivers, crew chiefs, pit and garage mechanics, spotters, and general managers. People in racing carry this competitive, merit philosophy into their business ventures-it's the biggest single reason why so many racers succeed in business. Talk to a racer about business and you'll soon discover that they employ the best talent they can find, whether it's their own staff or professional services. Racing has conditioned them to search for the best in any field and pay commensurate with ability and dedication.
Microsoft has been criticized for its policy of annually dismissing people whose performance puts them in the bottom ten percent. Since Microsoft's average skill level exceeds the industry, a low performing Microsoftie probably would be a high performer in another company. Gates objective is not to punish the bottom ten percent, but to make sure that Microsoft doesn't get complacent and allow performance to drop closer to their competition.
As you examine your staff, continuously work to raise the average performance level. You can do this by making sure every new hire exceeds the capability of your average performer. If you want to build something great, you need a continuous upward spiral in organizational performance.
Detractors of the enormously successful often portray these same ten traits as obsessive, dogmatic, glib, monopolistic, hypercritical, tyrannical, lucky, stubborn, foolish, and as weak players who exploit the skills of others. Taken to an extreme, this characterization might hold some validity. But we are not talking about Al Capone or Adolf Hitler. Entrepreneurial titans play by the rules. True, they continuously test the perimeter, and may even venture a little over the line to probe the limits, but the people we discussed in this chapter are competitive creatures who want to win accolades as victors in a hard fought, honest game. If you want to do something monumental, you cannot go about it the same way as everyone else.
Review these ten traits and ask yourself which ones you need to practice to hone your own skills. To emulate the giants of industry, you need to break from the herd, commit yourself to bringing your best to work every morning, and think creatively. Dream big, challenge existing norms, investigate new methods, leverage technology, and use existing channels to deliver something fresh and useful. But stay in bounds.