I love Americans.
I love the passion, the motivation, the brashness, the business savvy, the start-up ‘risk it all’ mind set, the total ‘in your face’ attitude that pervades their culture. It’s little wonder there are more millionaires per head of population in their great land than any other part of the globe.
Recently I attended the Infusioncon 2012 conference in Phoenix, Arizona, and this is where my article takes flight.
Being an ex-corporate guy who established a pretty awesome business some 12 months ago, I thought I was a fairly switched on dude. At least I did until I reached Phoenix after a gruelling 20-hour excursion from the great island of Aotearoa, and my world was positively rocked by the 1500 small business owners and entrepreneurs who had all gathered together to attend the annual Infusionsoft user conference.
Over the next four days I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy shop. Not one person I met had a negative thing to say about a person, business, life, technology or culture. We all shared in the awesome glow of a common purpose - the life of a business entrepreneur.
Now I must draw a line in the sand before I continue. Many New Zealanders have a fixed and pre-determined view that all entrepreneurs resemble the Eric Watsons, Graham Harts, Rod Drurys, Ryan Blairs, and Sam Morgans of this world. Some believe these great individuals were born with a golden spoon or that special DNA passed on by a magical link in their lineage. You may love, like or loathe these people; some may even despise them for their success.
In New Zealand, for many people it is this last that we do. Why do we not celebrate success as they do in America? It drives me crazy. These behemoths of our world should be congratulated and honoured for what they have achieved.
Over the years I have met a few so-called entrepreneurs born of the golden spoon. For these individuals I hold my praise. I do not like, loathe or despise these individuals, they are just of a different world and not connected in any way to the theme and meaning of this article.
I saw this all at Infusioncon 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. A life changing moment in time that placed 1500 small business entrepreneurs in the same circle where they shared their stories, motivated each other to greater heights, and revelled in a world where the kids’ sandwiches are ‘spared the mayo’ in order to save that extra dollar to move their business ahead.
During this whirlwind of a conference where each breakout session was challenged by yet another ‘can’t miss session’, I managed to attend a couple of afternoon workshops where my approach to life and business changed tracks and shifted gears.
"Hire me, learn from me, buy from me or get out of my way.”
When I first heard this quote from the stage, I felt the hairs on my neck stand up. Many a wise word was spoken and shared during these sessions but I could not get this thought out of my head. Was this the reason why American small business entrepreneurs are so successful? Is this why the real entrepreneurs across the globe are successful?
Over the next two days at the conference I soon realised that this singularly focused mind set was the ‘secret sauce’ that many had found and applied in their journey of becoming successful small business entrepreneurs. It is their purpose and reason for being.
‘Of course,’ I thought. ‘What’s the point of being in business, having a pretty website, nice business cards and fancy email newsletters if we do not live by this mantra? The purpose of a business is to have people to buy from us.’
The American small business entrepreneurial mind set needs to be shared and absorbed by those of us living in Godzone. What they mean by the tough saying in my heading is exactly as it sounds. Promote yourself, be brash, hang it out there, and screw the tall poppy syndrome.
Hire me, learn from me, buy from me or get the hell out of my way. I have a world to conquer.
Praise the small business entrepreneur.
About Sean McDonald
Sean is the founder and managing director of Sales Systems Ltd. His company and team of consultants help organisations improve the overall effectiveness of their sales and marketing operations through the introduction of new processes, tools and technology to ensure they are operating at peak performance in today’s highly competitive environment.
Sean is a regular contributor to Techday.