Last week, I was invited by a friend to a seminar organised by a network marketing company in Singapore. I am not affiliated with the company in any way. What really attracted me to the seminar was the guest speaker of that afternoon. I will tell you more about her in a moment, but I must say she is one amazing woman. Who is she?
She is Irene Ang, a local Singaporean artiste who had risen above challenges to set up her own artiste management company, FLY Entertainment. It was the first of its kind in Singapore. When she was just starting out with FLY, people had told her that the market size was too small to be sustainable. Yet she is now the pioneer of the industry with more companies following in her footsteps. She went on to build her results sheet with 3 more businesses while maintaining her successful television career. Her feats are recognised by the ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ award and the ‘Best Comedy Actress’ award.
In her speech, she had summarized the keys to her professional success in the acronym - FACTS. None of the concepts are exactly alien to me, but it is the way she built rapport with the audience which made the 5 lessons more personal and easier to relate to them.
Well, it can easily be because the audience has been watching her in the TV for the past 6 years, but nevertheless, her FACTS are easy to remember and apply to everyone. They represent the 5 values that are dear to her and have been helping her to become the woman she is today.
They are Family, Accountability, Change, Teachability and Exercise. If you have realised that the last value is somewhat out of sync, just bear in mind that she is famous for being funny.
She mentioned that burn outs and fatigue are no strangers for entrepreneur. We are the CEO, accountant, creative director, HR manager and office boy of our own business. That's one man doing the work of five.
There is no magic bullet to do our work for us and no elixir to ease the pain. The only thing that can keep us going through is a strong reason, the very reason to pull ourselves together and persevere.
In Irene's case and almost all of the MLM distributors', family is a very strong reason which motivates them to pull through the fatigue. What they have is simply a dream to give a better life for their family.
So, what is your one reason to pull you through the tows of business building?
No matter what business you're doing, even if you're in the mortuary business, you'll need trust from your customers and business partners to grow a sustainable business. The best way is to be accountable for your actions.
In practical terms, it means you need to be a reliable and smart business owner. A reliable man says, “I will fulfil all my promises to everyone!" and a smart man says, “I will not make any promises to just everyone!"
So, can you live up to the maxim of “Only making promises that you can fulfil"?
Flexibility is the crux here. The survival of a business depends on its ability to follow market changes and also to reinvent itself.
The power to reinvent is what differentiates a knowledgeable man from a smart robot. If we have lost the ability to reinvent ourselves or our businesses, we are no different from a calculator.
Side-Note: If you are having in your business with flexibility issues or having a short supply of ideas, try dropping an email or write in the comment box below to Latiff . He is the CEO/Creative Director/Master Programmer(if there is such a position)/HR Manager/Talent Scout of USOS and has been an entrepreneur since 2000 after all. He knows the woes of setting up a business.
So, when is the last time you have reinvent yourself?
Learning is a life-long commitment. You have probably heard of the maxim, “Readers are leaders" for the umpteenth time and understand its importance. Not just business owners, anyone who ceases to learn will find themselves bored of living.
The difficult part lies in maintaining a proactive attitude towards learning. Most people have a closed mind towards learning: “If it doesn't sound right to me, it ain't right. "
Irene practises this by reminding herself, “Everyone has something for me to learn. " It sounds pretty sensible to me.
So, what are you obstinate and skeptical about?
The word ‘exercise’ should be pronounced as ‘Sss-ser-cise’. You can't find this word in Google. The origin of this twisted word is actually Singapore's Singlish.
Success, in Irene's analogy, is a long marathon. To complete such a feat will definitely require a strong endurance and an unwavering determination. As you know, endurance and determination do not grow on bushes. The marathoner has to exercise and PRACTISE frequently to develop his endurance and build his determination.
You may already know what is required to be an entrepreneur. You just need to practise it regularly. Instead of waiting for the million-dollar opportunity to drop on your lap, practise spotting opportunities so that you would not miss it when it comes. Instead of convincing yourself that you will start learning about networking when you have a business, start attending networking sessions and meeting new people.
So, what do you think you should start practising every day?
To sum up Irene's FACTS of life, they are Family, Accountability, Change, Teachability and Exercise.
In short, you must:
1) Have a strong reason to succeed in life.
2) Keep your promises
3) Reinvent yourself and your business from time to time
4) Maintain an open mind
5) Practise what you want to achieve constantly.
So, do you think you can practise the FACTS of life?
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