I recently started a Deluxe Presentation Folders
I am trying to create an e-commerce business.
I would like to share some secrets for being a successful entrepreneur. I consider myself a successful entrepreneur. Why?
Because I can look at the left-hand side of the menu before the right-hand side, pay my bills, and sleep at night.
As I put together this post, I realized that there are two absolutely critical conditions for success. You have to be both willing to try new things while at the same time remaining consistent. I
have been on my own for over 30 years, ups & downs. Success and a lot of failures. The challenge is to fall forward and pick yourself up when you fail.
My business is nothing like when I started.
I am constantly adding new wrinkles and changing things. I have to since the market keeps changing – even for something as mundane as direct mail marketing.
Let me give you a little background about me. I was born and grew up in Peoria, IL. My first job was as a paperboy.
My sophomore year of college, I went to Israel. I recently realized how life-changing that event was.
I served in the Israeli army and I learned two lessons that have guided my career. One is that life is short.
The army showed me are more ways to die than you can believe. You may as well do something you enjoy. My motto from Proverbs is, “This is the day the Lord has made, come and rejoice in it.” If you don’t like your job, quit and find something you like doing.
In the Israeli army, there is a saying that roughly translates as, “There is only one rule in the army. They can’t hassle you more than 24 hours a day, after that it’s a new day.”
I tell that to my clients and prospects. You can only do so much in a day, so do what you do well and let someone else handle what you can’t or don’t want to.
Many years ago, I had the idea of a clothing catalog for people who have arthritis. I had a presentation to give to Adam & Eve.
How much will it cost to see if this idea fails?
When I gave my presentation, Phil Harvey, the owner of Adam & Eve, asked me the single best question I have ever heard in business: “How much will it cost to see if this idea fails?”
Profound question. You can keep adding money to a project, but when do you know when to pull the plug?
I keep this idea in the back of my head every project I do. I never risk everything.
But taking risks and trying new things is only half the equation for success. You have to be consistent. Do the same things on regular basis. You must provide consistent quality and service to stay in business. That I have had my own business for so many years is not about luck.
And that consistency must be evident in your personal life. I have 3 anchors – my family, my faith and my friends.
My family is important to me. When my late wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I made taking care of her my top priority. I was blessed that my business provided the income I needed and that I had the flexibility to take care of her while she was sick.
My children are healthy and self-sufficient. It doesn’t happen by accident.
My faith is important to me. I am active in the Jewish community. I had the support I needed when life got rough.
I realize that it was because I had provided support when others needed it. What comes around goes around.
And friends. As you can see, I consistently come to Toastmasters. I have been a Toastmaster since October 1984. Every week. No excuses. I can’t imagine what my life would have been without the friends I have made and the skills I learned here. If you think Toastmasters is all about becoming a better speaker, you are missing the big picture.
Toastmasters gives me an opportunity to learn, to laugh and enjoy the friendship of fellow Toastmasters. I have met some wonderful people over the years that I would not have met otherwise. As someone who works by himself, that time I come to Toastmasters and laugh is precious. You can’t be effective if you don’t take time off.
And I can ask my fellow Toastmasters for help, and they will give it to me if they can. If you have any suggestions or prospects to help me with my new business venture, please share them with me. I invite you to take a folder and the collateral material with you.
In return, if I can help any of you, please reach out. Have a crazy idea?