A Harvard Business Education MBA in 7 Minutes? 1While business education is highly recommended, the most valuable lessons often come from the trenches. Don't underestimate the power of starting small and gaining practical experience in the field you want to conquer. The challenges you face and the solutions you discover will equip you far better than any textbook can.

I’ve put together the best advice I’ve ever received over the last 10 years into this 7-minute read. Read, re-read and completely absorb this information to rewire your thoughts about business building, it’s possible you will have more practical real-world business know-how than 80% of freshly minted Harvard MBA’s.

Problem-Solving is a Constant Companion on the Road to Success

Running a business, or even navigating your career, is a continuous process of identifying and tackling problems, so get used to it. As you progress, the scale of the problems is going to increase, but so is your ability to handle them.

A 10-million-dollar business is going to have bigger problems than a $100 a week business. Roll with it. Develop your problem-solving skills and learn to view challenges as opportunities for growth.

The Unglamorous Beginning is a Steppingstone, Not a Destination

Don't be discouraged if your first business feels like a slog. Most successful people start with uninspiring tasks. The key is to persevere. As you gain experience and refine your skills, you'll discover your strengths and passions, paving the way for a more fulfilling business life.

Think of it this way – if you want to grow big flowers then the first thing you need to do is shovel a lot of manure. Later when you’re successful, you can pay someone else to shovel it for you.

Action Speaks Louder Than Dreams so Put in the Hard Work

Dreams and aspirations are great, but they won't get you far without dedicated action. True success requires consistent effort.

Consistent effort.

CONSISTENT EFFORT.

Be prepared to invest the time and energy necessary to turn your goals into reality. There is no substitute for hard work.

Or to put it another way, get off your lazy butt and get moving. I’ll fill you in on a secret: Starting is the hardest. Once you’ve started and as long as you  don’t stop, then momentum and a clear vision of what you want will take you anywhere you choose.

Take your Business Education from the Best and Find Inspiration Through Smart Imitation

There's no need to reinvent the wheel. Successful businesses got that way for a reason. Learn from their strategies and adapt proven tactics to your own goals. Don't be afraid to borrow good ideas – just make sure you put your own unique spin on them.

Find out what’s working. Figure out why it’s working. Then adapt that to your own business.

To put it another way, if you want to get to the top of the mountain, take the damn trail. That crazy guy who’s trying to make his own way is likely to fall off the cliff and break his face. Sure, it might seem a little too safe or boring to take the established route, but when you do you’ve improved your odds of success by a hundredfold or more.

Building Bridges Through the Power of Long-Term Relationships

Focus on building genuine connections and a positive reputation. Short-term victories and fleeting popularity are hollow compared to the value of long-term relationships. Invest in the people around you, and they will invest in you.

A marketer acquaintance was about to launch a new product when I spotted a MAJOR design flaw that would have ruined his launch and resulted in angry customers and affiliates, not to mention refunds from here to forever. I could have easily created a better product in a week and sold it as my own, but instead I showed him the problem and helped him solve it before launch.

That marketer became my best friend in the business and has since referred major affiliates and JV partners to me, as well as selling six figures of my products.

Mastering the Power of Sales and Negotiation

Negotiation skills are essential not just in business deals but in various aspects of life. Learn to effectively communicate your value and advocate for yourself. Hone your negotiation skills, and you'll be surprised at the doors they can open.

Think of it this way – you are not an entrepreneur or a marketer or a CEO. You are in fact a SALESPERSON. Everyday you are selling vendors on giving you the best deal, customers on buying your products, affiliates on promoting you and so forth. Become a sales master and there will be no stopping you.

A Harvard Business Education MBA in 7 Minutes? 2Silence the Noise and Focus on What You Can Control

Most worries are unfounded anxieties about things beyond your control. Learn to differentiate between controllable problems and uncontrollable concerns. For the latter, acceptance is key. Don't waste your energy on what you can't change.

Is anxiety and lack of focus a problem? Then make exercise your religion. Nothing beats anxiety faster than getting your body moving your heart pumping.

Find Your Tribe, or The Importance of Supportive Relationships

Surround yourself with people who challenge you, offer honest feedback, and hold you accountable. True friends will celebrate your successes and offer constructive criticism during setbacks. Invest in quality relationships that push you to be your best self.

And if you have a ‘friend’ who does not support you, then that is not your friend. Period. Let them know you need their support, and if they don’t give it to you, then tell them thanks for the memories and you’re moving on. Life is too short to have people whispering in your ear that you’re not worthy of achieving your dreams.

And don’t forget to be supportive of your friends, too. It’s a two-way street.

Be a Positive Builder and Not a Crummy Hater

Focus on creating value and building positive relationships. Trolling others or negativity will only hinder your own growth. Be the person who lifts others up, and you'll find yourself rising alongside them.

Here’s the thing to keep in mind: Unless you’re a psychopath, every time you tear someone else down, you are essentially tearing yourself down. You cannot be negative to someone and not feel less positive about yourself.

I once cussed a stranger out because I was feeling lousy myself. That was 20 years ago, and I still feel bad about it. While he likely forgot about it in a few days, emotionally I’ve paid for that incident 1000 times over, and it wasn’t worth it.

Be a Lifelong Learner and Embrace Change and Growth

Holding strong opinions is valuable, but clinging to them inflexibly will limit your growth. Be open to new information and willing to adapt your perspective as you learn. Embrace change as an opportunity to evolve.

Confirmation bias means you look for and believe the things that you already think. The more you do this, the less you can grow. But when you open your mind to new possibilities and ideas, there is no limit to how far you can go.

Confidence is Key so Stop Undervaluing Yourself

Don't be afraid to ask for what you're worth. Confidence in your value translates to higher profits and better opportunities. If you believe you deserve a raise or can command a higher price for your product or service, ask for it.

The trick to being confident is to act confident. Even if you have to imagine you’re an actor playing a part, just do it. The more you act confidently, the more confident you will become. Focus on the process of what you’re doing and know you are meant to be successful doing it.

Beyond the Bubble Bath – True Self-Care

Self-care is more than just face masks and bubble baths. It's about building financial security and taking calculated risks. Stepping outside your comfort zone can lead to significant growth. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself daily.

Exercise, eat healthy non-processed foods, practice intermittent fasting, meditate, spend time with friends and do something challenging each day.

Living with No Regrets Means Taking Action and Embracing the Journey

Don't let fear hold you back. Take action on your dreams and embrace the journey. Ultimately, most things won't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Focus on living a life with no regrets, a life where you took chances, learned from mistakes, and created something meaningful.

This is just the beginning of your success story. Embrace the challenges, learn from your experiences, and never stop growing.

Looking Online Business Education?

Look no further than this collection of online business education – from two, experienced and successful online entrepreneurs.

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