Many entrepreneurs have great ideas, but how do they actually bring a great idea to fruition and then sustain it over time?
In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts, Tristan Ahumada talks to Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Patty Aubery, president of Canfield Training Group, about the lessons they’ve learned throughout their decade spanning business partnership.
Jack and Patty first began working together when Patty responded to Jack’s advertisement for a secretary in the newspaper. Thirty years later, they have multiple billion-dollar companies, written New York Times best-selling books (such as The Success Principles and Permission Granted), and changed the lives of millions around the world with their training and coaching programs.
So what can today’s entrepreneurs learn from their journey? Read on for their top five tips to building a long-lasting and intentional business.
1. Understand what your purpose is.
Before embarking on your next idea, make sure you are clear on both what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it.
Jack and Patty have always been united around a common purpose: “Inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision.” Even as their businesses evolved, their purpose remained unwavering. Patty explains, “One of the things that’s kept us together all these years is that we have the same why. What drives us, what gets us through, is purpose.”
A clear purpose will not only motivate you during the inevitably tough times but also inspire others to line up behind you and your business. As best-selling author and speaker Simon Sinek says in his now famous TED Talk, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
2. Hire well.
What should you do when there are aspects of your business that don’t align with your purpose or your skill set? Patty’s answer is to hire well, adding, “I know what I’m good at, and I know what I’m not good at. So I try to surround myself with people who are really bright. I always try to be the least smart in the group.”
Although fledgling entrepreneurs may not be able to bring on full-time employees at first, there are ways to get creative—Patty offered to drive a marketing expert to and from the office every day in order to bring her on board when they were first starting out with the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand.
Ask yourself: which aspects of my business can I outsource in order to spend more time on the parts that align with my skills and my purpose?
3. Go where no one else is.
When Jack published Chicken Soup for the Soul, M. Scott Peck, M.D. best-selling author of The Road Less Traveled, instructed him to do three interviews a day for the first three years after the book was released. Jack and his co-author took that advice to heart; they spoke to any outlet or venue that would have them, sometimes doing as many as 10 interviews in one day.
“People can’t buy your book if they don’t know it exists,” he explains. Furthermore, Patty adds, in order to stand out you have to “go where no one else is.” She sold books at nail salons, grocery stores, and even out of the back of her car.
No matter what you are selling—books, products, or services—the same concept applies. Get creative; the more things you try the more likely it is that something will work. As Jack says, “You never know what will be your breakthrough.”
4. The right mindset is everything.
Jack emphasizes that “success is mindset plus skill set plus action… If you don’t have the proper mindset, you’re not going to take the proper action.”
We all have self-conscious limiting beliefs that play out in our mind: “I’m not smart enough,” or “Nobody will listen to my ideas.” We thwart our success with this negative self-talk, often without noticing we’re doing it.
In order to achieve our goals, we have to re-write the script. The next time you find yourself in a loop of negative self-talk, try replacing these limiting narratives with affirming ones.
5. Relationships are capital.
Every entrepreneur has heard the age-old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” However, in today’s fast-paced world, it can feel as though you are on an ever-spinning networking hamster wheel. Entrepreneurs are always off to the next conference, the next webinar or the next interview.
Patty reminds entrepreneurs that “relationships are capital.” She adds, “Pay attention to the people that are already in your community. Pay attention to the people that supported you from the very beginning, probably some even before you believed in yourself.”
Hop off the hamster wheel and take a moment to show appreciation for the people who have long been in your corner—it might surprise you to see just how much they needed to hear it.