After over $50 million in sales, serial entrepreneur Scott Shickler researched thousands of entrepreneurs and had 1 dinner with 3 billionaires to find out…what is true success?
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Starting over — #1 path to profits
“The first half of my entrepreneurial life I chased lots of business opportunities. I wasn’t all about the money but I wasn’t allergic to it either. What I realized is when I was really passionate about a business is when I would do the work I loved the most and it made all the difference. Ironically, once I focused in on my passion I’ve never done better financially. That’s what I’d do if starting over.”
Dinner with 3 billionaires
“I had dinner with 3 billionaires including Fred DeLuca of Subway, S. Truett Cathy of CHick-fil-A, and Sara Blakely of Spanx. They were all inducted into the entrepreneurship hall of fame. Truett Cathy, in his 80s, instead of giving out business cards was giving out coupons for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. He even gives Fred DeLuca a coupon. As entrepreneurs we never stop marketing.”
7 Mindsets of the successful
“We conducted extensive research of thousands of entrepreneurs and 200 of the most renowned books in the field. Success has nothing to do with how much money someone makes, where they live in the world, whether they come from a loving home or broken home, not how far they go in school, nor even the skills they acquire throughout their life. It has to do with how they think and their mindsets. We’ve identified 7 particular mindsets.”
I wish I knew earlier…
“You have to give yourself permission to allow your passions to evolve. I wish I knew this earlier. Often times we start something that gives us great energy, joy and we’re passionate about it but if we don’t allow our passions to grow then at some point in your business life you might get stuck.”
“Being very successful at what you do can be a trap. Imagine what your friends, family and colleagues would say if you even started talking about doing something else while you’re at the pinnacle of what you’re doing in life. People say, ‘You’re so good at this. Why would you do anything else?’ Even when you’re at the top of your game if you’re no longer passionate about it then it feels like a trap.”
Why Listen to Scott:
Scott’s companies have collectively grossed more than $50 million with businesses ranging from software to seminars, real estate to retail.
Scott Shickler is one of the world’s leading experts on personal empowerment, a sought-after speaker, thought leader and advocate in his field, and has been called a “serial and parallel entrepreneur” by the Wall Street Journal.
Scott has authored and coauthored eight books including The 7 Mindsets to Live Your Ultimate Life. He has been featured in a variety of media including CNN, ABC and NBC News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two sons. In addition to his role with 7 Mindsets, he is the cofounder of the Magic Wand Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to empowering youth to live their dreams, as well as CEO and founder of Excent Corporation, a global education company serving millions throughout the world.
He’s probably started between 20 and 30 businesses over the years. It began when he was a kid and asked his mom for some money to go to the movies. She looked at Scott and said, “Do I look like an ATM machine?”
That’s when he knew he needed to make his own money but was too young to get a job. He didn’t know what an entrepreneur was but he did know how to knock on doors and mow lawns.
His business startups have been in very diverse fields with some of them being very successful and others being experiences he could learn from. Collectively, his businesses have probably generated over $50 million in sales.
His current company is an education software company called Excent. They have around 50 employees and did over $10 million in sales last year.
He says he knows a lot about entrepreneurship but probably the biggest thing he admits is what he doesn’t know. You don’t often find this level of humbleness in somebody who’s done over half of $100 million in business.
Some Shareables from Scott in this episode…
Biggest mistake $10,000 embezzled — turning point
“The most successful people point to their mistakes as turning points. I learned my lesson from a mistake made in my early 20s running a multi-services business in the Hamptons. I had about 50 high school and college students working for me. We were doing around $5,000 per week in sales. I got too full of myself and hired a manager to do what I was doing. I became an absentee owner thinking I’d made it big and that I should be enjoying ‘the good life’. Within 2 months of giving my manager power of attorney I was embezzled out of $10,000. It was embarrassing. I learned about better financial controls and most importantly being present in your business.”
Weirdest thing – Dave Thomas of Wendy’s
“Weirdest thing — unexpected conversation with Dave Thomas the founder of Wendy’s. He was very generous with his time and advice. One time I was over at his house he took me out on his boat where we had dinner. We were talking about this difficult business decision I had to make. Instead of just giving me the answer Dave told me a story from his own experience. He was running a fast food seafood restaurant when his CFO pulled him aside and said they’d have to file bankruptcy. Dave was devastated but asked, ‘Is there anything else we can do?’ The CFO thought about it and said, ‘Instead we could go public!’ Dave said, ‘Well let’s do that!’ When I think about the bizarre circumstances and having Dave Thomas share pearls of wisdom with me it reminds me that no matter the circumstances in our business we always have choices.”
Simple question to success
“About 5 years ago we set out to answer the simple question, ‘What do the world’s happiest and most successful people have in common?’ You’d think it’d be easy to find with a simple Google search. But there’s so much conflicting information. One expert says, ‘Good things come to those who wait’ while another expert says ‘Life rewards action’. We studied thousands of successful entrepreneurs and 200 of the most renowned books in the field. The one thing they have in common is how they think and their mindsets.”
Starting over — #1 path to profits
“The first half of my entrepreneurial life I chased lots of business opportunities. I wasn’t all about the money but I wasn’t allergic to it either. What I realized is when I was really passionate about a business is when I would do the work I loved the most and it made all the difference. Our research shows some of the happiest most successful entrepreneurs in the world put their passion first. Once they understand their passion, they organize their business around that. Ironically, once I focused in on my passion I’ve never done better financially. That’s what I’d do if starting over.”
Learning from others’ mistakes
“A good friend of mine Mitch Schlimer coined the phrase OPE ‘other people’s experiences’. It’s a cheap tuition to do it this way. Often times, we get scared of making mistakes which prevents us from big breakthroughs. I like to think of it as ‘prepared to adjust’.”
Favorite part of entrepreneurs journey
“My success as an entrepreneur has opened the door for me to share what I’ve learned with others. That’s been my favorite part of the entrepreneur’s journey. I decided I’d rather teach kids than adults. I volunteered my time to teach thousands of students the art of entrepreneurship. I was even asked by the Boy Scouts to author their booklet so members could get their merit badge in entrepreneurship.”
“Counterintuitive — I believe most people are charitable. Many entrepreneurs follow the conventional wisdom of ‘You gotta make it before you can give it away.’ The world’s most successful people do the opposite. Instead of waiting to give back, they often give forward. We labeled this the ‘Live to give mindset’. It’s about aligning your business with causes you believe in and making giving part of your business now and at every stage of your growth. After learning this mindset I increased our own company’s charitable giving 10 fold.”
Employee Charitable giving
“Once I learned this new mindset ‘lived to give’ I allow our empowerees (other companies call their workers employees) to donate up to one week of their time per year to a charitable cause they believe in and we would pay their salary.”
“Counterintuitive — in one of the toughest financial times I increased our companies giving tenfold. I also allowed our team members to donate up to one week of their time to a cause they believe in and we’d pay their salary. I’ve watched my business grow by the millions because of These two simple decisions born out of the ‘Live to give mindset’.”
Conventional wisdom that hurts
“Conventional wisdom — being independent is considered a great trait for entrepreneurs which seems logical because they’re self starters and rarely let other people get in the way of their success. Unfortunately, this can also lead to isolation and counterproductive mindsets. Our research showed successful entrepreneurs embraced the ‘we are connected’ mindset.”
“Successful entrepreneurs have what we call a ‘we are connected’ mindset. They realize if they can achieve their dreams alone then they’re not dreaming big enough. They embrace this ‘we are connected’ mindset as one of the fastest ways to achieve their own success is by first helping and empowering others. If you really want to turn an ordinary business into an extraordinary one, then you have to fight the urge to be independent and learn to work with others, through others, and for others.”
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News Media Scott Shickler has been featured in:
– The New York Times
– NBC News
– School For Startups
– Business Week
– North Dakota State University
– The Monterey County Herald
– Prairie Business Magazine
– El Mundo De Los Negocios
– Fargo Monthly
– Dakota Medical Foundation
– Lets Talk Business Network
– Casimiro Global Foundation
– Fargo-Moorhead CVB’s Speakers
– Silicon Bayou News
– Huffington Post
– The Wall Street Journal