Watch this compelling interview with the business icon and billionaire, Roger Barnett. He shares some very insightful opinions on direct selling and why protecting and establishing a strong brand name and maintaining a great reputation is paramount to business success.
He would know.
His family took Burberry from being a 100 year old little-known raincoat company and turned it into the top 5 luxury brand in the world.
Not many people know that I started my first business as a teenager, growing up in South Africa. My business was simple.
I raised and bred parrots.
It started out as a hobby, but quickly my profits started to grow.
I had several different kinds of birds and loved every moment of my enterprise.
I had a great time and lots of fun breeding exotic birds, but I learned 3 fundamental lessons about business that have served me well throughout my business career.
Passion - You absolutely must be passionate about your business. It's so much easier to build an enterprise that you love and are interested in than to be in a line of work that you just aren't passionate about. You can't fake passion. You either have it or you don't. For me, parrots was an absolute passion of mine. I started out with a couple of pet birds, and just started reading up as much as I could about raising and training parrots. I tried to get my hands on as much information on exotic birds as I could and soon I was breeding them and found a an untapped market for my birds in the local community. Soon it became the "cool" thing to have one of Matthew's baby parrots! It didn't feel like work at all!
Master your industry - For me, learning all I could about parrots was easy and fun, because I was passionate about it (hint-hint). I started learning about how to handfeed the babies properly and how to incubate them (handrearing parrot babies means you can sell them for 3-10x the price of an adult bird). I learned how to build cages and started building my own. I learned about breeding patterns and DNA sexing. I learned about diseases and conditions that would harm my parrots. I learned about parot psychology. I learned how to train my parrots.......you get the point. I didn't just breed parrots. I BRED parrots.
Have fun - It's easy to forget that your business enterprise is "work" when you're having "fun". That's why picking an area that you're already passionate about is fundamental to your success. It isn't just about the money. It's about the experience of doing something that you love. You'll be amazed how much money you can have when you're having fun. (note-not everything that we enjoy could potentially earn us a million dollars...but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it! do what you enjoy, but be realistic about your financial expectations)