You may know that I recently started on a project to write my father’s biography. As I’ve begun this process I’ve learned quite a lot, not just about him, but about how to win in business.
One of his early business ventures was starting a movie studio, Image Films, that produced advertisements for television. He had no related experience in the film industry, no money, and no backing. What’s more, this was in the 1950’s when Iran was just ending a recessionary period.
What he had was the good sense to ask questions from his friends who happen to be actors and cameramen for a couple of movie studios. He learned that with the help of his friends he didn’t need any knowledge of the business, but he still needed the equivalent of $150k in 1950’s or $1.3M in 2010!
He convinced his parents to give him the deed to their house (paid off) so that he could take out a loan. Suffice it to say he got the money from the bank. What’s more, the business was so lucrative that within six months he was able to pay off the loan!
What’s the lesson here? No matter what the market conditions, you can succeed. You only need a few things:
- Have a healthy dose of bravery: You need to be brave to take risks, especially when it comes time to put your own skin in the game. This is true for your own business or your company’s.
- Be willing to ask questions: Nothing ever comes to the man who remains silent. If you want something, ask for it, be curious and look for opportunities to get it.
- Ask for help: It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to do something. If you believe in yourself, you just have to figure out what it is you need to know, then ask those who know it for their help. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to help you succeed.
- Give thanks where it’s due: When you get people’s help, be sure to thank them properly. That may mean offering them partnerships, compensation, or public recognition. Just figure out what they want and find a way to give them just that.
- Be resourceful: Even if you find you have nothing but the willingness to do something, find means to get everything else that’s necessary to succeed at your new endeavor. You should have learned about those other factors through all the questions you asked and had answered, and by bringing in the experts that fill in your knowledge gap.
- Put your own skin in the game: To make any venture or adventure meaningful, and to insure you’ll give it all, you have to have your own skin in the game. This may mean money, time, your reputation with friends and family, or all of the above. If you’re seeking something that you truly believe in, something you’re passionate about, this should be an easy step, but nevertheless a necessary one.
No matter what what you want to accomplish, just remember: Seek and you shall find.
What Do You Think?
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Photo Credits: Frankie Roberto