Essential Qualities of an Entrepreneur: Strength of Character

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about something hopeful I see in America, the rise of young people interested in entrepreneurship (“There’s Hope Yet”). More than ever, the upcoming generation wants to start businesses and pursue their passions by starting companies that will not only take care of them and their family, but also benefit society as a whole. I applaud this.

I recently released my newest book, The Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich and Others Don’t, with my good friend, Donald Trump. This is a book on entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs—something both Donald and I are extremely passionate about.

The reason Donald and I wrote this book is because we’ve learned the hard way that there are five, essential qualities entrepreneurs need to have in order to succeed. These qualities aren’t a guarantee for success, but not having them is a guarantee for failure. And we want you to succeed.

So, over the next few weeks, I’ll briefly share some thoughts on each quality. For more on each quality, I encourage you to purchase a copy of Midas Touch.

Strength of Character

As a young man, I started a successful Velcro wallet business. This was in the early 1980’s and MTV was just starting to take off. My partners and I had the foresight to take advantage of the wave of rock bands coming out of MTV, and we licensed band names and logos to place on our wallets.

For a while, business boomed. We had thousands of distributors around the world shipping our wallets for us, and we had millions in sales. The problem is that we didn’t really know what we were doing. As a result, many of our sales partners were 120 or more days late on paying us or had skipped out entirely. Because of this, we couldn’t pay our vendors, didn’t have the materials to continue production, and were in danger of not paying our employees and our taxes. We were in a cash crunch.

I’ll never forget sitting down for lunch with my rich dad to go over my financials for the company. Looking over the financial state of my company he said to me, “Your company has financial cancer. You’ve mismanaged a company that could have been successful. You need to look at reality and admit you’re incompetent and that your business is a failure.”

It was a hard word to hear. Up till that point, we tried to hold on, thinking the next big break would come. But it never did, and things were going from bad to worse.

After that conversation, I went back to my partners, and we did the right thing. We liquidated our inventory, paid our employees what was due to them, and set aside enough money to pay our taxes. The company was finished, but at least we weren’t crooks.

That was my first major failure as an entrepreneur. But it wasn’t my last. And if there’s anything I’ve learned after 30+ years as an entrepreneur, it’s that you will fail. The question is not whether you’ll fall; it’s how many times will you stand up?

The #1 essential quality of an entrepreneur is Strength of Character.

In order to succeed, you must first have integrity to do the right thing, and second, have the fortitude to continue moving forward even in the face of failure. Those who lack strength of character quit in the face of failure. Those who have strength of character get stronger in the face of failure by learning and adapting for the next opportunity.

How strong is your character?

I leave you with one of my favorite commercials of all-time.

Written By: Robert Kiyosaki

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The 12 Steps of Selling a Car – Dealership Special!

From May 2007 through April 2008 I worked in the car biz as a sales manager, a “closer.” I observed a lot of interesting things while managing a crew of sales people at the largest Chevrolet dealership in Phoenix, AZ. Three of the main things I learned from working for that job: 1. Working for someone else blows. 2. Selling for yourself is much easier and pays better than managing salespeople 3. The 12 steps to selling a car and gaining referrals(This is somewhat a joke, somewhat…)

I wrote this on a whiteboard in a sales meeting I was doing one time at the dearlership as a joke to my salespeople, I was describing how my top salesperson did what he did, and why he was so good at getting referrals from his clients. It’s actually sick but the process really did work well for him for some reason, very well. I actually wrote this post almost 2 years ago. I came across it tonight while checking out the first blog I ever started(in which I only made 4 posts) –
(http://www.9to5erso.blogspot.com)

Friday, January 9, 2009
HOW TO SELL CARS.
1. FORCE CUSTOMER INTO BUILDING.

2. SHOW CAR ON COMPUTER.

3. DO NOT LET CUSTOMER DEMO/DRIVE CAR.

4. WRITE UP THE DEAL.

5. CRY TO SALES MANAGER.

6. SHOW CUSTOMER THAT YOU ARE LOSING MONEY ON THE CAR DEAL BY
INCREASING COSTS IN THE SHOP TO THE VEHICLE IN THE BACK SCREENS OF THE SYSTEM AND PRINTING THE PAGE TO SHOW THE CUSTOMER.

7. CLOSE DEAL BY TELLING THEM YOU WILL GET THEM HOOKED UP(DETAIL, FLOOR MATS, KEYFOB, WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT HAH YOU YOU WON’T BE DOING THIS.)

8. TAKE CUSTOMER THROUGH FINANCE OFFICE.

9. SET THE APPT FOR WHATEVER YOU PROMISED THEM WHEN YOU CLOSED THE DEAL FOR YOUR NEXT DAY OFF.

10. WALK THEM TO THE CAR BUT QUICKLY ACT RUSHED LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR NEXT DEAL WAITING AND GET THEM OFF THE LOT BEFORE THE NOTICE OR ASK FOR ANYTHING.

11. NEVER ANSWER CUSTOMERS CALLS.

12. SELL ALL THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS CARS.

Crush it! Passion comes before sales!

By: Joshua Gamen

I saw the movie “The Social Network” this weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it. It is an interesting story and a very well done feature about the story of the creation of Facebook. In watching the movie, the business principal that stood out to me most was that

it’s not about monetizing, it’s about having the best product, then money follows, as was seen with Mark Mark Zuckerberg, the main character and creator of Facebook becoming the youngest self made billionaire ever.

Of the many flaws that have stemmed as a result of our fiat currency system(fiat currency = currency that is not backed by anything of tangible value) as well as our fractional reserve banking system, we have a common factor in our economy of businesses putting sales in front of the product they are contributing. When the Fed pumps monopoly money into the economy, people naturally lose focus on real value, and instead strive to attain as much currency as possible, which they use to then obtain objects of value. The extra step of attaining the currency has created out modern day sales process, and along the way it has given the ultra-rich a vehicle to drive off with our stolen wealth.

I’m not against the idea of money. I believe it is critical for the economy to have a common item to keep trade fluid. My point tho, is that with an over-supply of currency, the focus shifts from creating things of value, to attaining as much currency as possible. The result is less REAL gross domestic product. This doesn’t do anyone any good except for the people trying to gain power.

The beauty of this depression that we are in(technically referred to as a recession – technically referred to as over…) is that with the money supply constricting, it has allowed people to let the smoke clear and start seeing what is real again. When your money is limited, you cannot help but begin to see more clearly what you really want and need. This depression, along with the power of the internet and modern technology, has created a shift from focus on sales to focus on value. It is now more important than ever to be contributing a good product or service. With less currency chasing the same amount of goods and services, the cream is rising up and it is leaving behind the crap! This brings up another great point, “It is never a bad time to start a business unless you’re starting a mediocre(or bad) business.” – (Quote from Gary Vaynerchuk.)

In a boom economy, you can attain currency(sell) on just about and idea or business, as long as you have a strong focus on sales and a good hustle. In a down economy, you CAN thrive, but it is imperative that you are contributing something that gives real value to your consumers.

There are 2 more points I am trying to make with this writing:

1. People – EVERYONE – needs to start thinking of themselves as a business. While I strongly recommend working with people, I strongly oppose working for people.

2. Everyone needs to cash in on their passion! Learn how to live out your passion, and you will have all the money you need, plus control of your own time and destiny. Remember this, skills are cheap, but passion is priceless. Don’t get stressed out thinking about how you will sell, or “monetize” your ideas. Focus on what you are passionate about, then teach, and the people will come to consume what you are providing. People do not want to be sold anymore anyways, they want to be educated. Everyone is disgustingly tired of being “sold” to.

Pick your passion, do it for yourself, and focus on the quality you are delivering as a contribution to your passion. Worthless activities will diminish as a result of doing this, which will increase your purpose, followed by increasing your happiness.