“Hope might be a virtue, but it is rarely a strategy.” – Richard Parson
My experience has given me a VIP seat in the world of the truly wealthy. As a business consultant for the past 30 years, I have had the great fortune to work with several individuals who are now billionaires. That’s right … I said billionaires, not millionaires. (Although I have worked with them, too.) My client list includes:
Roy Speer and Lowell W. (Bud) Paxson, co-founders of Home Shopping Channels – which went on to become the Home Shopping Network. Bud also expanded into PaxNet TV, his own cable channel. “If a picture is worth 1,000 words,” these gentlemen figured, “we’ll make money putting items on TV 24 hours a day.”
Harris Rosen, founder of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, the largest privately owned hotel chain in the Southeast United States. Harris focused on location, location, location, and ownership with little or no financing.
Dennis Fontaine, founder of Discount Auto Parts. Dennis believed customers would value the convenience of a one-stop store rather than having to go into a dealership to buy parts and accessories. He was right.
A billion dollars is a great benchmark of success. So why not learn the techniques that have already proven to be successful? Because if you have not yet gained the wealth you deserve, you need to start doing things differently.
The first thing you can learn from these billionaires is that money has no master. People are not born to be rich.
None of us say “money” as our first word. However, we all become aware early on that the more money a person has, the more options and freedoms he can exercise in his everyday life.
The billionaires I’ve worked with all came from humble beginnings (a factory worker, a grocer, a clerk, a shop-assistant). And each was self-made in his respective industry. How did these people succeed where others in the same location … with the same opportunities … maybe even with more investment money … could not manage the same success?
Perhaps the most important reason is that they perceive more about their environment than the average person. They have clarity of vision. They see the hectic pace of business in slow motion.
Slow motion? Yes, indeed. They don’t need instant replay, because they see everything clearly the first time. They do not perceive the world as what they want it to be but rather as it truly is. They are not walking around with their heads in the clouds. No sir! They actively listen to, watch, and participate in what is going on right now.
Some of us have to see, hear, or read a second, third, or fourth time before we “get it.” Not these gentlemen. They have trained themselves to be aware and open to the reality around them . And this ability to see things wholly and clearly upon first glance is something the average person doesn’t possess.
Think about it. When you watch a movie, do you catch everything the first time? Probably not. Whenever you see a movie more than once, you realize that there were things you missed the first time around – the foreshadowing, some of the dialogue, or a glimpse of the scenery. And if it was a good movie, that makes the experience even more pleasing the second time around.
How about going into a room that you have been in many times before? I bet you could go into any room you’re familiar with and see many items you never noticed before. (Go ahead. Try it!)
How is it possible that billionaires have the best employees, contracts that favor their companies, and business strategies that bring them tangible financial benefits year after year? The answer is simple: They see more in people, contracts, and the various business strategies that are offered them throughout their careers.
Take Roy Speer’s, for example. Bud Paxson had offered the concept of a shop-at-home TV channel to numerous investors. Where other people couldn’t or wouldn’t, Roy saw the big picture. He listened, perceived, and acted upon the wavelength of opportunity that Bud presented to him. The result … the Home Shopping Network, and wealth for its owners and shareholders.
How do billionaires do this … over and over again? It’s very easy: They remove all distractions from their minds and concentrate completely on the immediate situation. They maintain a clear channel, and are not distracted by anything else.
When a billionaire enters a meeting, it is all about “We are here to make money.” It’s not about the weather. It’s not about what so-and-so is doing this weekend. It is not about who has the best record in the NBA and who will win the playoffs. (Unless, of course, that billionaire is Mark Cuban.) No. The billionaire is ALWAYS READY to make money.
You should be, too.
Whenever you have a business meeting, prepare yourself in manner and dress before entering. Clear your mind of all thoughts about who is picking up the kids or why a project is stalling. Be in the moment … the real moment … and be open to the unique energies of that place and point in time. I promise that you will come out of that meeting with more clarity and more purpose.
Imagine your overall strategy to success in the same way. Intend to consciously see more clearly … listen more intently … and continually process your environment for what it is, not what you hope it to be.
Nothing wrong with hope. God bless us all, as we do need hope in our lives. However, hope is not a strategy to success.
Today’s Action Plan: To have a different result, you must do things differently. And, as I said before, if you have not yet gained the wealth you deserve – or the health or the options or the freedom – you need to do things differently … and soon. A good way to start? Work on developing the billionaire’s ability to actively listen to, watch, and participate in the immediate situation.[Ed. Note: Bob Cox is co-founder of the first TV shopping network and the author of The Billionaire Way. If you would like to think like a billionaire, work like a billionaire, and achieve billionaire results, check it out. ]