Entrepreneurship is a calling not a job or a career. It requires a commitment and dedication that few possess. There are a number of factors that go into becoming a successful entrepreneur. Things like infrastructure, financing, marketing, sourcing, branding, and image are all important factors. But to me, the most important factor is training. You have to know what you are doing if you are going to become a successful entrepreneur. Many of us start businesses because we have a passion and a skill, and we feel we can monetize it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it only works for a while. Sometimes it works for a long time, but it never grows. You reach what we call a business plateau. Much like working out, if you do the same thing all of the time, you will not gain any more benefit, though you may not lose any either. But no entrepreneur I know just wants to make a little money. They want to build empires, pass down legacies to their children, and never have to worry about money issues again. As I said, all of them want that, but few of them ever achieve it.
I have been fortunate to have started a couple of successful businesses and either adjusted the plans for them, or got rid of them before things could go bad. However, things were not always wonderful. I have had a plethora of business ideas that I have researched and even tried to start, only to fall flat on my face. But from each of those failures I learned something, even if it was just that I was over my head, and had no business trying to run a business in that industry. But the most valuable lesson I learned, I learned from my friend, Mike Rucker. We met up one morning at Panera Bread in Concord, and I had about 3-4 businesses I was thinking of starting at one time, or in close succession. He told me to find one thing and do it well. Then if that takes off, then think about adding to it. But make sure that your businesses can all support each other. That was great advice. But I actually learned 2 things that day. The additional advice I learned, and without a doubt the most important, is to seek advice and answers from people smarted than me, or that have been where I am going. This opened up a brand new world to me.
From that point on, I have sought advice from a number of people, and on different topics. Sometimes if I’m thinking of making a move, I will ask a complete stranger if my idea makes sense to them, or is something they would buy in, or participate in it, and why. I am smart enough to know that I don’t know everything. I am constantly learning something new. And I love it. My business has flourished and it has opened a lot of doors to me that were not only shut, I didn’t even know they existed. But they have opened and i have been welcomed with open arms.
How did I get these doors to open so quickly? Was it being in the right places? Was it knowing the right people? Was it wearing the right clothes? Was it speaking the right language? It was all if these, and it was none of these. It was because I did my research. I once posted on Facebook, While you are partying, I’m doing research. While you are “in- line” at the club, I’m “on-line” looking for the next move to make.” I spend countless hours in front of my computer reading, studying, and learning. Sometimes, I’m on it and I turn around and the sun has risen and I realize I’ve been on this thing 14 straight hours. I’m not suggesting you spend that kind of time (especially if you have a wife, family, or girlfriend), but you are going to have to put in some hours to be successful. I sleep on average 4-5 hours a night. Not on purpose, that’s just how I’m built. Sean “Diddy” Combs once said, “When you are sleeping, you are losing money.” He spends ridiculous hours working like I do. Wealth is not created from a 9-5. You may become well off. You may even become rich. But I’m talking about wealth. The kind of wealth that assures financial freedom for 2-3 generations. The kind that generates more money in interest in 6 months, than most people make in 6 years. Not the “I got a Benz with custom rims money”, but “I have my own private island money”. That isn’t accumulated on a 9-5.
I am re-focusing The William Wilson Perspective because I feel I can help people. We are blessed to be a blessing. I will be offering information and advice as I see the world and how I have applied it. Some of you won’t take. That’s okay. Everyday someone asks me if I will mentor them, advise them, or just want to know how I got where I am. I wish I could take the time to help everyone, but I can’t. My schedule is too hectic. But what I can do, is share the knowledge that I have, and that I gain, to assist those that will listen. In less than 2 years, I have started a company, got a who’s who client list, and landed a spot as a spokesperson for a private jet. 11 years ago I moved to Charlotte in an 84 Chevy Blazer with 175,000 miles on it, no a/c, no furniture, 1 suit, a television, a vcr, bean bag chair and air mattress. Now I have a 3000 sq. ft. house, a collection of luxury watches, national recognition, and when necessary, I fly in a private jet. I don’t say that to boast, I say that to let you know, you can do it too. I’m just a country boy from Arkansas. If I can do it, anyone can. But it all starts with knowledge, and wisdom.
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