Ideas are the currencies for the future. A thought, a word, a story or an idea can spark the creative mind that provides the inspiration that leads to business growth and beyond. Welcome to Business Matters with Francis Kong, a series of stories, discussions, and musings from one of the most respected business speakers in the Philippines.
I love watching TV interviews of successful entrepreneurs. I always learn a lot. One observation I have is that the journey from where they started to where they are today is not always a walk in the park yet successful business people manage to achieve “Sustainable Success.”
I remember the time when I wanted to give away something meaningful to the people who will attend my seminar. Oprah, Tyra and Ellen would give away stuff to their audiences so why not do the same? Aha! I’d do another book. Not the regular size one but a smaller one.
I opened the laptop and typed away. Three hours later, my small book entitled: “Inspiring Excellence (bite size)” was born. My friends couldn’t believe that a book can be written in 3 hours! I smiled and thought to myself, “What they do not understand is that 3 hours is what it took for me to put the thoughts together but a daily resolve to learn and improve is what made it happen.” And this is called sustainable success.
There are different kinds of successes. There is what I call the “one-hit-wonder success.” Just like a singer coming out with a winning song, it becomes a hit but could not follow it up with other hits to sustain the singer’s success. Then there are businesses that grow so fast and sell so well but in just a couple of years, the business deteriorates and fades out of the picture.
But then, there are business people who do not only sustain their business success but continue to grow it and enlarge it. They have discovered the secret sauce for sustainable success. Serial successful entrepreneurs practice “Sustainable Success Principles.” Let me share these with you.
Successful business people are confident, but they are not cocky. Arrogance is not in their lifestyle. They know their own limitations and they handle their strengths responsibly. They are secure and therefore they do not always need to prove themselves.
Successful business people challenge the status quo constantly. They are willing to grow by challenging their limits of knowledge and experience. They reflect and learn from experience.
Successful business people are never satisfied with what they know or what they have accomplished. They want to learn new things and would invest money in knowledge acquisition and continue to look for new opportunities and territories to explore. They are innovative. They embrace technology and explore the features on how they can grow their business. Why? Because they understand that breakthroughs are impossible without change. They know that breakthroughs are only possible when the current state is reassessed and challenged to keep the business growing.
Successful business people they are not superheroes. This is why they make good team players. They leverage on talents and work with them to explore new ways of growing their businesses.
Successful business people are on a mission to share their knowledge with others. They are not stingy with what they know and what they can do. They develop their people’s potential and share with them their knowledge knowing that in doing so, their people grow and collectively with them, they grow the business.
I created a name for myself in the garments manufacturing business many years ago. Not many people know that my first entry into the glamorous world of fashion was not glamorous at all. I was part of the Visual Merchandising team changing mannequin clothes and dressing up show cases and windows.
I resolved to give it my best and to present our displays as the best in the industry. But I continued to study window displays, read up books on advertising and ambitioned for the next step in the company which is sales. I got it. In just one and a half year was promoted to be the National Sales Director. And a few years later became the General Manager of the same company where I started as a window dresser. The next goal was to own a business of my own.
When the opportunity came, and I became a beginner in building a business that I know, I employed the same principles. And in just a few years of the business the brand I built achieved fame and financial success. This went on for a few years until the world changed. In my incessant drive to learn, study and grow I learned another lesson. Success also means letting go of things that no longer work.
Leaving the garments industry was not an easy decision as I shifted to a totally different industry in the field of business consultancy. I spotted the potential and plunged right into it. The constant drive to learn, research and with a lot of Providential help and blessing I started doing keynote speeches, conducting leadership training and I still employ the Sustainable Success Principles every step of the way. The business today has earned public recognition and accolades which are a validation that things are doing well.
Business success is very visible in public. But the process in making and sustaining success is not. Yet without it, success may come as a one-time fluke but cannot be sustained for long. The journey and the adventure continue. And now you know the secret sauce. You can understand how I can come up with a small book in just a few hours.
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