After dozens of interviews with some really successful entrepreneurs, I find there are 2 universal traits that each one of them possesses. One of them is a no-brainer, but the other one may surprise you. The one common trait that none of them possesses as their number one motivation is the acquisition of wealth. The two things they all have in common is persistence and an unparalleled level of contribution.
A really interesting topic came up when I was speaking with an ultra-successful entrepreneur who is in the insurance business. He has built an extraordinary business from just a single agent to well over 350 agents and growing.
I just assumed because he was so busy that now he only worked with high net worth clients because of his time constraints and how busy his schedule was. He looked at me almost confused. He said, “Not at all. I will work with anyone that needs and wants my services. I would argue that the janitor in this building needs my help more than the millionaire.”
That is exactly why he has built the extraordinary business that he has created. His commitment to service is unparalleled. When I interviewed him for the podcast, he even shared his favorite quote by Winston Churchill which fits perfectly with his philosophy on life, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Growing up, I always had a desire to make a lot of money. I thought money would make me happy and money would solve any of my problems. I realized over time that money is just a tool – neither good nor bad. The thing that creates more fulfillment, joy, and happiness that anything else in the world is our ability to contribute to making other people’s lives around us better.
We are getting sold everyday all over the internet that we can become healthy and wealthy while working only a few hours per week. We are sold that the idea of health and wealth is easy, and you must be stupid if you haven’t achieved financial freedom and a ridiculously high level of health. We are sold that if you just take this pill or do this 4 minute workout, you will have the health of your dreams. We are sold if we just spend a few hours a week working, we will build an extraordinary career or business. The only people getting rich off those ideas are the people selling it.
Success takes WORK. It takes a superior level of persistence. One of my favorite entrepreneurs and media personalities is Gary Vaynerchuk. He grew his father’s wine business from $4 million per year to $60 million per year. He also started a YouTube show called “Wine Library TV” back when YouTube was still in its infancy. That show grew his business tremendously and catapulted him to fame. That’s the outcome.
What is less known is the work he put in to get there. He was recording 5 shows per week for over 1.5 years before it really took off.
Most people try things once or twice and give up if it doesn’t work. Let me give you an example. I had been wanting to go from an unsupported “Crow” pose to a free-standing handstand for a long time. I decided I was going to be able to perform it no matter how long it took me. Once I finally got it, I performed it for a few people. The most common response was “Wow. It looks so easy for you. I could never do that.” They assumed I just figured it out one day and had it ever since. That was the assumption. Here is the truth.
It took me months of practicing every day to get that pose. When I committed to it, there was no “Until.” I was going to practice it forever if I had to. I was COMMITTED. They didn’t know about the sore shoulders and beat up elbows from constant practice. They didn’t know about the thousands of failed attempts in my pursuit of this worthy goal. They didn’t see the many times I came crashing down on my side because I lost my balance. They only saw the outcome; the illusion that we all must resolve in our own minds on our path to personal mastery, wealth, health, or any worthy goal.
You need to DECIDE that you are going to do WHATEVER it takes to fulfill your highest values and desires. You need to being willing to wake up early and go to bed late because that is what it takes. You need to be enthusiastic about contributing more to other people than you can ever expect in return. You need to always look for ways to contribute, give, and make everyone’s life around you better, healthier, and happier.
Actually, you don’t NEED to do any of these things. It just depends what kind of life you want to live.
Dr. Matt Westheimer