We All Need Good Role Models
Early this morning as I was brushing my teeth my wife Julie asked me, completely out of the blue, who my role models, childhood heroes were when I was growing up. She was somewhat puzzled when with a mouth full of tooth paste I told her that I didn’t really have any.
“What, you didn’t have any heroes that you looked up to when you were growing up. Not even cartoon heroes or sporting heroes?”
Now me, being me, I was starting to get a little impatient with what I regarded was a pointless conversation to be having so early in the morning whilst I was more eager to get into my home office to start some work. But Julie being Julie…. wasn’t giving up that easily…. she was on a mission!
“Well if you didn’t have a childhood hero, then who was your role model? Who motivated you to succeed?” She kept on asking me.
Now that was a different question altogether and one that was a lot easier to answer. I immediately knew that the one person that inspired me most as I was growing up, and indeed even to this day, was my Dad.
The featured photo, taken recently at my youngest daughter’s Hawaiian Birthday party seems somewhat apt to this topic as I think that my Dad actually resembles a Greek hero in this photo… what with his head regalia!
Why is my Dad such a great role model?
Well, in a nutshell he has always been a great Dad, provider and most of all a friend. He was a Sergeant Major in the army and in those days the salary was poor, which meant that funds were a bit tight, but he still always provided well for us.
He played a very important role in my early life as sadly, when I was a child, my mum was ill which meant that she had to spend long periods in hospital. However my Dad just stepped up to the plate and made sure that he provided all the emotional as well as financial support that we needed, to ensure that my childhood was as stable as possible.
Even as a grownup he is still always there for me- whether it’s to help out with my businesses, offer advice, look after the children or even ‘dog sit’ our family pet dog!
He is a great example of a role model who inspires me to succeed in my life, not only within my business career but also as a Dad to my own children.
Do I have any other role models?
One of My Role Models In Business Is Sir Richard Branson
Some of you will already be aware that one of my earliest business role models was Sir Richard Branson. I felt particularly inspired by Sir Richard because although he is very successful he is also not afraid to share the business ventures that haven’t always gone to plan
He opened his first business, a record shop in London, in 1971 and was soon questioned about selling records that had been declared as exported stock. The matter didn’t get to court, but it did result in his mum having to remortgage her home to help pay a settlement fee.
Since then Sir Richard has gone on to open many successful businesses including Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin trains. However, despite his global success and being regarded as a great inspirational leader, he has had several business failures along the way including Virgin cola, Virgin brides, Virgin clothing, and despite his great success with his other transport companies, his Virgin cars business also failed!
However, Sir Richard is not one to give up and has always continued to look forward and to heed his mother’s advice which was;
“My mother drummed into me from an early age that I should not spend much time regretting the past. I try to bring that discipline to my business career. Over the years, my team and I have not let mistakes, failures or mishaps get us down. Instead, even when a venture has failed, we try to look for opportunities, to see whether we can capitalize on another gap in the market.”
That is why I have always looked up to Sir Richard, as I too have encountered hurdles along the way within my own business career, but I have always fought on and gone on to win the battle.
You can imagine my delight when I won an all expenses paid trip to New York, paid for by Sir Richard Branson, for one of my convenience stores, and actually got to meet my “hero” in person. It was a dream come true and a truly memorable experience.
Like Sir Richard, I am always on the lookout for new best business opportunities that I can also share with others. However my current role models are very different from the other more traditional ones!
Role Models In The Form Of An Ex Drug Addict And A Homeless Van Man
I think some of my friends and family thought I was mad when I announced that I was considering joining up with an ex drug addict and a homeless hippie who had been living in his camper van.
Dave Sharpe is an ex drug addict and former alcoholic and Dave Wood was penniless and homeless man, living in a camper van, until they founded their company and went on to create global success beyond their wildest dreams. In a short period they have gone on to become inspirational leaders and offer many inspirational stories of hope to others that they have recruited into their business.
However, despite my own enthusiasm about this new business opportunity, convincing others was another matter. No matter how much I tried to explain to friends and family how much I truly believed in this new venture due to its simplicity and its universal appeal, they understandably had their reservations. Even Julie “switched off” every time that I mentioned it.
I can remember hovering over the “join now” button wondering whether this was indeed another scam. But I did it anyway. After all it was only $25 a month to join and for that I would be able to have my own blog on a site that I knew was already ranking high on the Alexa rankings. So there really wasn’t anything to lose.
However, me, being me couldn’t just leave it at that. Within a short space of time the words of the 2 Dave’s were keeping on going through my head saying;
“If you want to make serious money you need to be all in”.
I knew that I needed to be “all in” as I would kick myself if I lost the 100% commissions offered for all sales. The policy of the company is that you can only make commission for products that you have personally bought; which, after all, is fair, as how could I ethically sell products if I had not tested the products myself?
But “all in” meant investing another $100 a month to have access to daily audio tapes featuring top leaders, $500 for the Costa Rica program and a further $1000 for the 15k formula that would teach me exactly what I needed to do to earn $15k a month. I could justify the cost to myself but convincing Julie would be another matter.
Julie, I would say, comes into the “green category” of personality (something that I picked up in training. Me personally, I think I am more of a red!)
People who are in the “green category” tend to take longer to make decisions. They need facts, figures and lots of details before they make up their minds. Some famous entrepreneurs that could also be considered as falling into the “green” category are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, so she’s in good company!
However, the good thing about being a “green” is that once they make a decision they become very focused and seldom change their minds. Therefore I knew that if I managed to get her on board it would be plain sailing from there on.
It was not an easy task. Every time I mentioned the subject, Julie swiftly changed to conversation.
I then did something that I have never done before… I actually pressed the button to buy all the products and “get all in” without telling Julie!
I felt enormous guilt but convinced myself she would thank me in the end.
Luckily for me, after I bought all the products, I quickly started to get some sales and this actually got Julie to start asking me some questions about the opportunity as she was intrigued by the sales that I was making. I confessed to her straight away and luckily she was fine with it.
She started to become inquisitive herself about the new business and asked if she too could watch some training. Since then she has become hooked. I have to say from the offset that Julie has never been that interested in online marketing before, so this in itself was a result!
But what appealed to her was the simplicity of the training. It’s true that the training is actually structured so that anyone can follow it and that’s what really appeals to us and why it is so easy for anyone, regardless of age or experience, to be successful.
After all, think how many businesses or individuals that are out there would welcome being shown how to promote their business or themselves by writing a simple blog on a high ranking blog site and then promoting it on social networking sites, making money in the process. Added to this imagine their surprise when you tell them that they can also make 100% commissions for selling products that are easy to sell and affordable too.
In anyone’s lives, good role models play a crucial part in shaping you into the individual that you need to become to be successful. So choose your role models carefully and you will cherish what you learn for the rest of your life.
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