Lets face it, a million dollars is not what it used to be. Today, a billion is the new million.
So what would it take for you to develop the mindset required to build a billion-dollar business? What are the habits you would have to form, the skill set you would have to acquire, the mindset you would have to have? Over the last year, I have asked myself these questions. In search of answers, part of my discovery process has included surrounding myself with people who are where I wanted to be and seeking their guidance.
One person who has inspired me for many years is John Assaraf. I was first introduced to John through the hit movie The Secret and then his New York Times best-selling book The Answer. As I studied John more, I learned that he was not only one of the leading authorities on evidence-based brain retraining techniques but has also had incredible success as a serial entrepreneur growing his Remax Indiana business from a startup to over $4.5 billion in sales. He also took another startup, Bamboo, from inception to initial public offering at $2.5 billion.
This was a man I had to form a relationship with and learn from. After much persistence, John and I had a chance to meet, and during our conversation, we discussed how you could develop the mindset to build a billion dollar business.
1. Be crystal clear on your destination.
If I asked you to describe exactly what you wanted to accomplish, would you say you are 100 percent clear on what the destination looks like? Do you know exactly how much money you want be making? What your relationships will look like? How much you want to weigh? The things you want to trade your life for? John emphasized that when it comes to achieving your goals -- “Everything starts with clarity of focus.”
This is because there are certain neurological processes in the left-prefrontal cortex of the brain that acts like a GPS for your goals. If you have clarity of focus, your brain will figure out how to bring the process of achieving your goals into your awareness.
2. Are you interested or are you committed?
People who build billion dollar businesses understand the difference between interest and commitment when it comes to achieving their goals. John first learned this from his first mentor back on June 22, 1980. He was asked to take a weekend to set goals for every aspect of his life -- health, wealth, relationships, career, business, finances, charity, fun, experiences and spirituality. When he came back and shared his goals with his mentor, he was asked, “Are you interested in achieving those goals, or are you committed?”
What’s the difference between interest and commitment? If you’re interested, you will come up with excuses, you will do what’s convenient, you will come up with stories, and justify why you failed. If you’re committed, you will do whatever it takes. You will let go of your past. You will develop the beliefs that you need to believe. You will learn the habits you need to achieve those goals.
If you’re committed, you won’t come up with stories and excuses. You will just do whatever it takes. While you need a clear vision, a commitment to take action in spite of all the hardships and adversity you will encounter along the way is required.
Are you interested in achieving your goals, or are you committed?
3. Follow through to completion.
So often as entrepreneurs we get “shiny opportunity syndrome” and easily take focus away from what matters most in pursuit of the next big and exciting thing. Part of being truly committed is being able to identify the one thing you need to focus on and follow to completion. It seems easy on the surface, but as you know, putting it into practice is more challenging.
Do not waiver. Be a relentless in your execution.
4. Identify your power habits.
After John first bought into his Remax business, he was able to quickly scale the business to over 1,500 sales people. As a student of personal development himself, he made it a priority to provide constant education and training so his people could perform at the top levels. Yet in spite of his efforts, he noticed only a certain percentage of would take action and get stellar results, and his business began to plateau at the $1.2 billion mark.
This led John to ask, “Why does only a small percentage take action and leverage the resources they are provided while the majority does not?” This is where his study of the brain came into play. He recognized that while you may have the best of intentions to achieve a certain goal, your habits are far more powerful than your intentions. While he was making major investments in the knowledge of his people, it was not transferring into the required habits. So, he started to measure and monitor what his 1,500 sales people were doing instead of what they were learning, and specifically focusing on the first 90 minutes of every day.
Then John discovered their number one power habit by asking -- “What is the highest income and impact action my people can be taking to grow my business?” In this case, it was calling people who wanted to buy or sell a home. So for the first 90 minutes of every day, all 1,500 sales people focused on their power habit, calling people who wanted to buy or sell a home. This one action skyrocketed John’s business over five years from $1.2 billion to over $4.5 billion, and the average agent went from making $38,000 a year to making $128,000 a year.
If you want to build a billion dollar business, you do not need to double or triple your knowledge. You just need to identify your power habits -- the little hinges that will swing the big doors -- and make them a part of you.
5. Master your emotions.
You know the entrepreneurial journey is really like a rollercoaster filled with exhilarating highs and some very deep lows. To be victorious in your mission you must learn how to stop reacting and master the art of responding. Reacting is what most of us do in tough situations. It’s that gut feeling that we experience that is followed by immediate action. The challenge is your emotions cannot always be trusted. Sometimes you react to soon and make a mistake, which could be fatal to your business.
John explained that by learning to respond, you are becoming aware of the emotions you are experiencing and making a calculated decision on the best way to move forward. Look at any of the most successful entrepreneurs, and you will often see a consistent ability to remain calm under pressure. They do not react. They respond. But how do you build this heightened sense of awareness, especially in the heat of the moment? This is where learning how to retrain your brain comes into play, at which John is an expert.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. You can put cast a big vision of building a billion dollar business and put your own plan in place, or you can seek guidance from people who have already done it and follow their trail of breadcrumbs. If you followed John’s guidance and make it habit, would you be more successful?
If so, it’s time to take action!