MEDIA RELEASE: 30 MAY 2018
The Secret to Business Happiness
Want to know what most super-successful entrepreneurs have in common? They know how to follow their passions, love what they do, and love the journey, instead of being caught up in the destination. Here’s what you can learn from them. By Matt Brown
A few weeks ago, at our first Secrets of Scale event, Missing Link’s founder, Rich Mullholland said that every time you say no to something, you write a cheque to regret, and at some point in the future you’ll be cashing that cheque in.
Over the past four weeks, through a series of events that have featured some of South Africa’s top scale-up experts, we have looked at what it takes to scale a business from every angle.
In our final event, we came back full circle to Rich’s comment. Success shouldn’t be the destination – it’s how you approach and appreciate things every day. Truly successful scale-ups are headed up by people who love what they do and who face their fears every day.
The passionate mindset
I’ve experienced this while building my own business, and I know I’m not alone. We push so hard that we don’t take the time to stop and appreciate the journey. We need to learn to celebrate our wins more – no matter how small. If we don’t, we’ll miss the big wins because we’re too busy looking to the future.
On the opposite side of the coin, there’s no more dangerous place to end up than success. It’s a breeding ground for mediocrity, because once we believe we’ve reached it, we lose our hunger.
I wanted to do a series around the Secrets of Scale because of the tensions between passion, success and fear that we all face. I’ve spoken to hundreds of successful people over the last two years, and the one thing that separates them from businesses that haven’t achieved real scale is hunger. Even though we see them as successful, success isn’t part of their dictionaries. It’s an aspiration; not an end state or goal. It’s the journey that they love.
In our final event, we unpacked what this mindset looks like, and what other entrepreneurs can emulate to learn to love their own journeys more.
Here are Howard Sackstein, founder of Saicom Voice Services, Tom Asacker, author of The Business of Belief, and leadership and personal development coach Erik Kruger’s top three ways to live your passion and find continuous personal success through your entrepreneurial journey.
According to Erik Kruger, successful people are sensitive to nuance. They understand that everything isn’t black and white, and that lots of small things – many of them contradictory, lead to success. “I’ve seen many successful people who will adjust their mindset based on what the current situation requires.” As long as you live your values, you don’t need to be too fixed in your opinions or even how you do things. Enjoy the journey and adapt to the best ways of doing things given what’s happening in the moment.
Embrace your fear
“If you can separate the person from rejection, you can start to look at business and life as an issue of numbers. If you believe enough in what you do, you’ll knock on those doors, because you’re driven and hungry to make a difference,” said Howard.
It sounds simple, but we know there’s a large element of fear in everything we do (and avoid): Fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, and fear of failure. So, how do you work with fear as an asset?
“There are lots of types of fear,” said Erik. “Start by identifying your fear. Once you know what it is that you’re scared of, you can begin to face it. Then be okay with that fear. It’s sound hard, and it is, but it’s also necessary. It’s not about conquering your fears; it’s about taking a more human approach to entrepreneurship and life and understanding that everyone has fears – we’re all in the same boat.
“Our fears also change. When you’re a start-up, you’re terrified your idea won’t work. Once you’ve built your successful business, you’re scared you’ll lose it all. There’s always fear. You need to learn to come to terms with it.”
There’s no such thing as certainty. Everything is uncertain. But with passion and hunger, we can love every step of our journey. That’s what the Secrets of Scale have shown me
Follow your bliss
“There’s a time and a place for everything. If you’re lucky, your passion and making money align, but this won’t always be true. Just make sure you’re following your bliss in some way,” said Erik.
“I wake up every day and I’m passionate about whatever’s going to happen that day. It might be work, a hobby, family time – whatever it is, it needs to feed my soul,” said Howard. “In my previous life in law I woke up just hoping it was Saturday. I’ll never do that again. I’d rather clean toilets with passion than do a job I hate.”
That said, Howard knows that not all jobs are perfect all of the time, and we all have tasks we don’t enjoy doing. If you’re passionate about what you do and happy as an individual though, this won’t matter.
Tom’s view is the same. “The question I ask myself on an almost daily basis is: Am I living as fully and passionately as I can? I’ve never believed in the mantra ‘do what you love and the money will follow’. My version is ‘do what you love and you’ll love what you do’. There’s no guarantee that you’ll make money, but I do believe you’ll be happy.
“This is your life, right now. Are you enjoying it, making a difference, being passionate, being your authentic self? If you are, you’ve got a great life and you should be appreciative of it.”
VIDEOS & PODCAST
PART 1 – THE BUSINESS OF BELIEF
PART 2 – PASSION, PERSEVERANCE & PERFORMANCE
PART 3 – 10X THINKING