EPISODE 10 — Gino Wickman — Entrepreneurship. Is it in your DNA?
Entrepreneur, best-selling author, and mentor Gino Wickman knows exactly what it takes to succeed in business. He learned the hard way how to turn a failing organization into a profitable one, leverage your strengths over your weaknesses, and put yourself head and shoulders above the competition.
In this episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast, Gino sits down with Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill to answer the questions:
- How can you know if you’re a born entrepreneur — or if you’re not cut out for it?
- What are the real reasons so many new businesses fail?
- Why is strengthening your weaknesses a waste of time?
- Are successful people genetically engineered to dodge curveballs?
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2:54 – Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. “When I was 40 years old, I said, ‘When I turn 50, I’m going to shift my energy to again teaching what I needed the most and helping entrepreneurs in the making.’ And so, it was that wealth of information over the last 30 years that has helped me really crystallize again what an entrepreneur is and then help these people that think they might be entrepreneurs to really know for sure whether they are or they aren’t — because right now, pretty much everybody wants to be an entrepreneur.”
3:28 – The Six Essential Traits. “The Six Essential Traits are defining someone who is a true entrepreneur. In all of my experience, these are the traits that have been exhibited in the last 30 years, and then I’ve tested it over and over and over, and so those six essential traits are — and as I share them I urge your audience to listen and kind of do a self-analysis on themselves as well as if they have someone in their life, a child that they think might be an entrepreneur in the making, kind of do a self assessment of them — but they are: visionary, passionate, problem solver, driven, risk taker, and responsible.”
4:23 – Born with it. “I personally believe you’re born with them. I believe that they’re genetic. These are true traits that we’re talking about. I call them The Six Essential Traits — these are not skills that you learn. And so I believe you’re born with them because you exhibit these throughout your life. I believe that it’s — you know, an entrepreneur is not something that you do. You know, it’s not this step-by-step process. It’s something that you are. So somebody with these traits is just drawn to running into the fire.”
6:05 – Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. “The whole idea is a cautionary tale. And so, I take the reader through this psychological, emotional, philosophical, soul-searching journey of self discovery to decide if it is right for them — and like I said, most people want to be entrepreneurs these days, and the truth of the matter is, most aren’t. So, what I’m trying to do is help someone who really is not cut out to be an entrepreneur to not take that leap because I’m trying to save them 10 years of hell.”
9:52 – A “Glimpse” into the future. “In ‘Glimpse,’ I share a vivid picture, so that this entrepreneur in the making can see what life looks like — see all of their options. Countless stories of entrepreneurs who were right where they are right now and what they did to build great businesses. I share all of the options in becoming an entrepreneur: industries, companies sizes, types of businesses, B2B, B2C. So, what I’m doing is helping that entrepreneur decide what they’re built for, because not every entrepreneur is built to build every business. There are some million dollar company entrepreneurs and some billion dollar company entrepreneurs.”
11:12 – The Eight Mistakes. “Here are the eight mistakes. Number one is not having a vision. Number two is hiring the wrong people. Number three is not spending time with your people. Number four is not knowing who your customer is. Number five is not charging enough. Number six is not staying true to your core. Number seven is not knowing your numbers. Number eight is not crystallizing roles and responsibilities. And I would suggest to you that most entrepreneurs that take their entrepreneurial leap make most of those mistakes.”
12:03 – The entrepreneurial range. “I teach something in the book called the entrepreneurial range. So if you picture this arc or this range, and on the far right side of the range are what I call ‘true entrepreneurs.’ On the far left side of the range I call self-employed, and so anybody that owns a business is somewhere on that entrepreneurial range. Well on that left side — self -employed — that is the one-person show, the freelancer. You know, the one attorney that’s out there practicing. Maybe it’s somebody who buys a franchise location. On the far right side of that range, are some of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Sara Blakely, Elon Musk — and so every business owner is somewhere in that spectrum.”
13:40 – Everyone is different. “I don’t know any other way to live other than maximizing your strengths, you know? There are certainly philosophies and beliefs out there teaching people how to strengthen weaknesses, which is just incomprehensible to me. I mean, I think of the return on your time invested. And so we all have strengths. If the whole world just realizes we all have strengths, and we’re all different, and they’re all different strengths and the world needs all of the professions. So the whole idea is just, if for no other reason, ROI.”
14:36 – Embrace your weaknesses. “We are all a little screwed up, okay — every single one of us. We’re all a little fucked up. We all need therapy, so to a degree you can just say, ‘I’m not good at these things. These are my weaknesses.’ It’s so freeing and powerful because these are my strengths. And to the degree you capitalize on those, you are happier, you have more energy, you make more money — it’s simple math.”
19:21 – Patience is key. “Patience just means you have to shift your thinking to 10-year thinking. At age 35, I discovered this and learned this. When I shifted my thinking to 10-year thinking — because up until then it was like now, now, now. I wanted things this week, this month, this year. A year was too far out to be thinking from that standpoint, but once I shifted to thinking in decades — 10-year timeframes — time literally slowed down. I started making better decisions, and ironically I actually got there faster. So the idea is to move forward, do a bunch of stuff, do activities that move you closer to that 10-year goal, but always keep the 10-year goal in mind, and you’ll just make better decisions. Time will slow down, and you will get there faster.”
20:35 – To partner or not to partner. “There’s three types of business owners out there. Number one: you are not a partner person, and that’s okay. You should never have a partner. You need to own 100% of your company. You don’t play well with others. Number two: you are a true partner person where you want an equal partnership, whether that’s two partners or three partners or four partners — you all have equal voting shares and you want to be in this battle together. Number three: you’re a partner person, but you always want to maintain controlling interest. You’re comfortable giving people equity, but you’ll never give up control. That’s the kind of owner that I am. I’ll never give up control, but I want people to share in my wins. All three work, but if you go into this thing not knowing which one you are and if you’re actually not a partner person but you join forces with someone, eight years from now your life is going to be hell because you’re going to be unwinding something. It’s going to be painful, and it’s going to cost a lot of money.”
22:28 – An integrator for every entrepreneur. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, if you want to be surrounded by this entrepreneurial thing, go partner with a true entrepreneur. Go hitch your wagon to a true entrepreneur. Go become the integrator to a visionary entrepreneur. They are desperately needed. Integrators are these people that harmoniously integrate the day-to-day of the business for the visionary and frees the visionary up to do their skill set and to grow the business while the integrator runs the business.”
24:39 – The power of preparation. “Every night before I go to bed, I lay out my next day so I can go to bed clear on exactly what I’ve got to get up, hit the ground running, and do the next day. The power of that is while you’re sleeping, your brain is kind of preparing for the next day, and you sleep better as opposed to wrestling with what’s going on the next day.”
26:27 – What being a game changer means to him. “You know, let’s go back to having a 10-year goal, you know, and knowing that 10 year goal with absolute clarity. Then, I urge you to picture that every night before you fall asleep. I think a game changer is someone who achieves that goal. I think a game changer is someone who gets everything they want out of their business. Whether they’ve impacted one life or a billion lives, they’ve made an impact on the universe. So, a game changer to me is somebody who puts a dent in the universe, be that one or a billion.”
27:08 – Know what you want. “There is so much power in knowing what you want, because 98% of the world does not know what they want. They’re just unconsciously walking through the world every day. And so, just just know what you want. You know, as we went through those eight disciplines, one of them is to know that your first plan will not be your final plan. And so, one of the fears that people have when it’s time to hunker down and think about what they really want is they think, ‘Well, what if I decide what I want, but that’s really not what I want?’ Well, then you just change the plan, but you’ve got to know what you want and start to move towards something. If you’re three years into that and you realize, ‘Wow, that’s not really what I want,’ or the world kicks you in the ass, then come up with Plan B. You’ve got to have a plan. You’ve got to know what you want. Know what you want and then everything else follows.”
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