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Not everyone gets to the top by following the same rules, and these 9 business moguls and Advisors in The Oracles are proof of that. Here, Grant Cardone, Bethenny Frankel, and others share the unconventional “advice” they say has led to their success.
1. “Forget about being successful.”
Perhaps the craziest advice I ever received was when I was getting out of drug rehabilitation at the age of 25. The counselor told me to give up on any idea of becoming famous, getting rich, publishing a book, or having any kind of massive success in life. He basically told me to settle for average in life; otherwise I was setting myself up for disappointment.
That “advice” worked — because it made me want to prove it wrong. It further motivated me to become wealthy, get famous, and make my dream life a reality. The lesson is twofold: Pay special attention to who you take advice from. Sometimes the best advice can be found in what not to do. —Grant Cardone, sales expert, who has built a $750 million real estate empire, and New York Times bestselling author; follow Grant on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube
2. “Don’t take unsolicited advice.”
I don’t believe any idea is crazy. Think about it: people made a lot of money on pet rocks. In fact, all entrepreneurs are a little bit crazy. How you execute an idea is the key, because execution is everything.
I also don’t take unsolicited advice. Never assume that someone else is smarter than you are. Even your doctor or lawyer is only as good as what you give them. —Bethenny Frankel, entrepreneur and philanthropist; founder of the Skinnygirl lifestyle brand and the charity BStrong, New York Times bestselling author, and Shark on “Shark Tank”; follow Bethenny on Twitter and Instagram
3. “Fail often and fast.”
I was told to fail often and fast. This advice didn’t make sense to me at the time. “I’m not a quitter! I’m going to make everything work no matter what,” I thought. But by failing faster, you have more opportunities to get out of endeavors that aren’t working and into ones that will.
Sometimes it’s hard to quit, even when it isn’t working. But failing fast isn’t quitting. It’s testing what works and either pivoting or moving on if it doesn’t. It’s just data. You analyze it and act on what you learn. We’re taught that it’s bad to fail, but failure offers many lessons. So push the boundaries to see whether it’s going to work sooner rather than later. This has helped me achieve wildly more than I would have if I was still the guy who never quits. —Roland Frasier, principal of 30 businesses, including War Room Mastermind and Traffic & Conversion Summit; host of the “Business Lunch” podcast; connect with Roland on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram
4. “Quit your job and travel the world.”
I will never forget the day my uncle asked me, “Why don’t you quit your job and travel the world?” I was day trading in the morning and working as a customer service rep at night. I was great at my job and could have worked my way up to senior management, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to start something.
I was making consistent returns as a day trader, but I was nervous about the insecurity and pressure to perform without a reliable paycheck. So I used all my vacation and took a trip to Argentina to try it out. When I realized it was possible, I got back and gave my two weeks’ notice — and I’ve never looked back.
Taking that risk allowed me to experience the unknown. It taught me that no matter the circumstances, you should always rely on yourself, especially if you think you’re capable. As long as you’re willing to put in the effort, you can make it happen. —Marcello Arrambide, founder of Day Trading Academy and co-founder of SpeedUpTrader, a funding company for aspiring day traders; connect with Marcello on LinkedIn
5. “You don’t need to start a business to own a business.”
The craziest advice I ever received has led me to where I am today: Instead of starting a business from scratch, buy an existing one. It seems everyone wants to start a business right now. I say buy a business using funding from investors or financial institutions. That’s right — you don’t even have to use your own money.
I’ve been involved in over 10 transactions like this and counting and have helped others do the same. For example, I taught a client how to find sellers and negotiate a great deal for everyone. Now I’m investing in one of his deals: a hair salon earning around $1 million a year in revenue. Most businesses take one to five years and a lot of hard work to reach that point from scratch — if they make it at all. We’re buying the business as is, with established clients, employees, and revenue. In a few short months, my client will own a million-dollar business without spending a single dollar of his own. —Moran Pober, founder and CEO of Acquisitions.com, which buys and sells seven-figure businesses and helps others do the same; former partner at Wekix.com and ABD Assets; connect with Moran on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram
6. “Drastically change your environment.”
Years ago, I was stuck working out of a cold, drafty basement in Michigan. One day, someone told me to change my environment and move out of the state, adamant that this would catapult me to success. At the time, it was the craziest advice I had ever heard, but I gave it a shot. I sold my home and moved my family to sunny Florida. It was a stretch financially, but we moved into a better place.
Soon after, I grew my income by 400%. Taking that leap was the catalyst to my success. It forced me to grow and helped me leave behind old behavior patterns that were causing me to plateau. So if you’re in a rut, step outside your comfort zone and drastically change your environment. —Josh Harris, founder of Agency Growth Secrets; teaches entrepreneurs how to start, grow, and scale marketing agencies that help businesses grow
7. “You can make it up as you go.”
I heard this advice from “E-Myth” author Michael Gerber years ago and it led me to where I am today. After 30 years as one of the top business coaches in the country, he said he was still making it up as he goes — and you can too.
Gerber helped me realize that even “experts” don’t always know what to do. Instead of looking for solutions from others, I started to define the principles with which to guide my decisions. That process is never-ending, of course, but it’s increasingly allowed me to trust my intuition within my own set of forced constraints so that I can innovate. This technique has led me to become a successful and confident businessman. —Jonathan Goodman, founder of the Personal Trainer Development Center and the Online Trainer Academy; connect with Jonathan on Facebook and Instagram
8. “Pay yourself first, no matter what.”
When I was 24, I was introduced to an idea at a T. Harv Eker seminar: As a business owner, you should pay yourself first from the profits, no matter what comes in. Don’t be a martyr who takes care of everyone else first. You’re the one taking the risk that 95% of people aren’t willing to take. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
With this advice, I’ve saved more money to invest in different things. For example, I took my kids to the Formula One race in Belgium, which may not have happened without putting that money aside. This distribution model is also a great way to be more disciplined with your cash flow. If you aren’t making as much as you’d like, innovate or get creative with the business to change that. —Yuri Elkaim, founder and CEO of Healthpreneur, former professional athlete, and New York Times bestselling author; connect with Yuri on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube; read more about Elkaim: How ‘Healthpreneur’ Yuri Elkaim Went From Making $80 a Week to Building Million-Dollar Businesses
9. “Your preconceptions about real estate are wrong.”
Most people tell you to go to college and get an engineering degree to be successful, which is exactly what I did. I worked in oil and gas for years before discovering multifamily real estate, which isn’t a conventional career you learn about in school. When I started following the market, it was like an entire world opened up to me. I discovered that preconceptions about real estate, such as its instability for example, were quite unfounded. Instead, I found a stable market and potential for financial success far greater than what I could reach in my job. So I co-founded a real estate management company in 2007 and taking what I learned there founded Rockstar Capital in 2011.
Joining this industry is one of the best things I’ve ever done. There’s a great sense of stability and ownership over what we do. I take pride in our properties, knowing we provide a phenomenal living experience to our residents, unheard of returns to our investors, and unrivaled culture to our employees. —Robert Martinez, founder and CEO of Rockstar Capital, a real estate investment firm with $335 million in assets under management; host of “The Apartment Rockstar” podcast; follow Robert on YouTube and Instagram
Want to share your insights in a future article? Join The Oracles, a mastermind group of the world’s leading entrepreneurs who share their success strategies to help others grow their businesses and build better lives. Apply here.