Running a successful business goes hand in hand with leading a successful life. Keith Speers is a strategist and coach who does an amazingly good job of helping entrepreneurs (like me) uncover the life and business obstacles and opportunities to help grow a business. Part cheerleader, part tough guy, Keith is a bundle of energy, wisdom and tactical recommendations. I've been working with Keith less than a year and have already seen a 25% growth in my business, am less stressed and feel more confident about my next steps.

— Danica Kombol, President, Everywhere Agency

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Advice to Those Just Starting Out

While speaking with a group of young entrepreneurs the other day, they asked for my best advice. Expecting I would talk about scaling and how to rapidly grow a business, they were shocked when I didn’t mention that at all. Instead, I talked about five game changers – things you can do to completely change your life and success:

  • Think about retirement now. If you start young, you can ensure millions in your retirement account. You just have to be consistent in your contributions. Money is like snow. It accumulates in a magnitude. Once you have the initial layer of snow on the ground, the rest accumulates faster. Putting $50-$100 a week in your retirement account will ensure you’re a millionaire at retirement. Low risk. Easy to do.
  • Be an incredible supervisor. Great supervisors get results while engaging employees. It’s a balancing act, and the majority of people who think they’re great at it really aren’t. Don’t know what to do to become a great supervisor? Then you should check out CWL’s new course, The Secret To Supervisory Success. Whether you work for yourself or a large corporation, you’ll increase your quality and results.
  • Buy a house and pay it off as quickly as possible. You can’t really afford to retire if you have a mortgage or have to pay rent. So, once you pick a house, consider paying bi-monthly payments – paying 1/2 of your payment on the 1st of the month (before it’s due) and the other 1/2 on the due date. This can significantly cut the interest you pay on a home loan – we are talking years off the term of your loan. Don’t believe me? Ask your banker. Looking for a simpler plan? Pay extra principle payments at the beginning of each month in addition to your regular payment.
  • Spend more time asking questions than you do making statements. Asking the right question is an art. Asking and listening lead to learning. When we know better, we do better. Culturally, we are trained to tell you what they know. We think that’s how we demonstrate we’re smart. Being inquisitive demonstrates an exceptional and curious mind that is trying to integrate ideas, people and events. THAT is a skill. You can’t do it if you’re not thinking, listening and trying to connect.
  • Develop a solid foundation of incredible friends. When you’ve become successful, and you no longer have to work 80 hours a week, you’re going to want to have someone to go to happy hour with or someone to join you on a bike ride. Don’t sacrifice your friendships to build your life. Money and success are great. Friends are better.

What are your game changers? What advice would you give others who are just starting out?

 

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