“Jeez, I don’t know anything about business. How am I possibly going to succeed at this?”
After the launch of my book, Lessons My Brothers Taught Me, my team and I have stayed busy organizing a book publicity tour and developing resources for the website. In my first interview on the Author Hour we tackled the question of what is fundamental to succeeding in business?
The host, Hussein Al-Baiaty also grew up with many siblings and developed an entrepreneurial streak early on in his career. In fact, he started his own T-Shirt printing business before finishing college. In the interview we dove into the personal qualities that make someone succeed in business agnostic of the content of their business. Neither one of us has an MBA or background in business but both of us have had important life experiences that defined how we work with others and conduct our business.
What is the key ingredient to all successful interactions is we have people that are open, honest, transparent, and can communicate well, listen well, they have integrity.
My strong belief is that if you want to be successful at anything, not just business, then you have to be a person that others are willing to deal with. I came up with the concept of the 4S Transform to show that the basis of all business strategies are the people who lead and comprise that business. Salability, the fist "S" is the ability to demonstrate to your customers, employers, and even friends that you have integrity, trustworthiness, and the wherewithal to execute whatever transaction you commit to. Business education can help you understand different ideas and articulate them well but it does very little to help you practically execute on the transaction. Delivering on a commitment like building a good product, providing good advice, or designing and manufacturing attractive T-Shirts is all about your resolve to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably crop up. Leading a team too. For people to follow you you have to demonstrate compassion, vision, and common sense. These are character qualities that you can develop, but only through self-reflection and aiming to be a better human being. If anyone can teach you that, it would be your siblings, parents, and the community around you.
One of the things I would really like people to take away is do not substitute your own experience for what is sold to you as being skill or education. I am not saying that skill and education isn’t critical but experience is everything. I can teach you a language, but to be able to speak it and live it and to visit the culture behind it is all the difference in the world.
Coming up, I will be posting many more interviews from my recent virtual book tour. These include advice for entrepreneurs at The Startup School, The How of Business, and the Small Business Radio Show. I'm also diving deep into leadership and forming excellent character and culture on the Build a Vibrant Culture and The Discomfort Practice.
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