Entrepreneurship and business leadership are two different things — but the principles of the latter are going to be what gets your business through challenging times.
In the second part of my conversation with business leader and entrepreneur, Aaron Scott Young, we talk about social media, and the mindset of successful leaders who have sustained long-term success.
A renowned entrepreneur, Aaron has more than 30 years of experience and several multi-million dollar companies under his belt. He’s made it his life’s work to arm business owners with success formulas that immediately provide exponential growth and protection. Aaron is also the host of his podcast, The Unshackled Owner.
This is Part 2 of our conversation — catch Part 1 here.
Check out this episode if you want to learn:
- Why you need to invest in your business first
- How to make money by spending money (on employees!)
- What happens when you start giving back to others
🎧 Listen to the podcast here:
Business Leadership In These Trying Times With Aaron Scott Young – Part 2
There are a lot of small business conventions and pitch fests out there.
Everybody’s writing a book, giving a speech, improving your Facebook ads. Buyers want somebody to have the magic pill or the pixie dust. They (see) people in a beautiful home, and they go, ‘That person must know what I don’t know.’
For the most part, people will stay in that small business until they’ve exhausted all their money. The hope of the buyer is, ‘If I give this person $10,000, they’re going to make my stupid idea work.’ Most of the ideas are useless. They’re never going to work, but that doesn’t keep these folks from taking $10,000 apiece.
I’m of the mind (to say), go out and build something on your own. If you’re being invited to stand in front of small groups, and (you’re afraid), get a speech coach. Unfortunately, too many people (say too) early, ‘If I can give a talk about being a cat psychic, then I’ll get paid $25,000 a speech, and I’ll make great money.’
That’s a lie. Build a business if you feel that there’s a legit lack, (so) you’re making money. You’re not living off the $40,000 you inherited from your grandma, (or) selling your VW so you can go to this event. Some people think that’s noble. It’s silly. Build something, do the work, figure out if anybody wants to buy your thing. As you start to become more proficient at selling, then you can start to inspect where are you weak, (asking) ‘how can I bring somebody in?’
What does that look like for you?
In my case, technology and accounting are weak spots for me. For me to be doing my QuickBooks or to create a webpage is a fool’s errand. People will say, ‘I don’t have any money.’ No. What you mean is that your lifestyle is going to have to go down a little bit in order for you to hire the person to do the work that must be done. You’re saying, ‘I don’t want to get into my pocket and take a risk on hiring somebody. That means I won’t be able to go on my vacation, I won’t be able to buy that nicer car, or I’m going to have to keep living in my parents’ basement for another six months.’
The question is, what are you willing to sacrifice to have all other cool stuff down the road? If you’re trying to do it all so that you don’t have to pay anybody else to do anything, you’re never going to grow past your own competency. You’re never going to get any bigger than your ability to fill 20 hours a day and live on caffeine and four hours of sleep.
You’ve got to figure out, ‘How do I bring in full-time, part-time or virtual help so that we can go from the level that we’re at to a higher level? I deserve a pay increase.’ We’ve gone from not having two nickels to rub together to maybe making $40,000 or $50,000 a month in sales. I can pay myself $5,000 a month.
What most people do is they make $5,000 a month, take $5,000 out, and wonder why the company doesn’t grow. It’s because you’re selfish. Sorry for being blunt, but that is the reality of it.
Tell me what you think here, Aaron. I wasn’t clear on that last point.'Hire the best people you can afford, pay them what they're worth, and hold them accountable for the work you've hired them to do.' Click To Tweet
I know, I get a little obscure sometimes.
Being honest with you, I’ve been that guy, buying a product because it’ll help boost my profile, or do this and that. The biggest thing I need to do is focus on building my company, before I start building anybody else’s company.
It’s much easier to buy than it is to sell. You can feel cool when you buy something, you get to show up somewhere and tell your story. That all feels nice, but at some point, you have to sell something. If you don’t, you will run out of money.
By the way, you need to sell something at a profit. I see a lot of people out there selling things way too cheap, and then they wonder why they don’t have any money. The reason is they’re afraid to sell for what it’s worth, or they’re selling something (that’s) behind the curve. If you’re in front of the wave, you can make a lot of money.
You tell it like it is, Aaron, and I admire that. You want the best for people.
I’m 56 years old. A few years ago, (it) became clear that 86.3% of GDP in the United States is created by companies of 50 employees or less. Yet, 80% of those companies will fail within five years.
I want to do all I can to help more companies stay in business longer, making more money, because they will hire people. Those people spend money in the community. Those companies pay for health insurance, sponsor Little League teams. It doesn’t matter if I get any credit for anything — my life’s time will have been well spent.
Contrary to all the crap that I hear in the media, the vast majority of business owners that I know are incredibly dedicated to their employees, customers, and vendors. (They) are not raping and pillaging the businesses. We hear about a few mega-companies where a crappy CEO works (for only) two or three years, gets paid hundreds of millions of dollars and (has) golden parachutes. That is not representative of American business. It’s representative of a small, tiny, itsy-bitsy handful of people.
There are many people out there, trying to make a positive change.
(There are) millions of business owners that are out there, trying to do the right thing, and are happy to spread the wealth around. I’m a big proponent of (hiring) the best people you can afford, paying them what they’re worth — but then hold them accountable for the work you’ve hired them to do, because that builds the company. You do that right, the owner makes money.
Look at Warren Buffett. He owns significant chunks of Coca-Cola, Burlington Northern, GEICO Insurance, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen, and so on. He’s not the owner, but he’s a participant in helping them be more successful. The more successful they are, the more money he makes.
The more successful we make our people, customers, and vendors, the more successful we become as an individual. It’s the old Zig Ziglar (quote), ‘If you want to get rich, help 1000 other people get rich.’ That’s a paraphrase — if you want to get what you want, help 1000 other people get what they want. It’s true for all eternity.
As soon as we start looking at the big picture instead of our selfish pocketbook, we end up doing better — and that’s the truth.
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