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You Can Do It Too!
Bill Rancic is not only the winner of the biggest reality show in years, he is also a successful entrepreneur and lecturer with a passionate vision about how to succeed that’s sure to resonate with a new generation of business hopefuls. A street-smart 32-year-old who never had an Ivy League education or major start-up capital, Bill turned ingenuity and hard-work into dollar signs from an early age - paying his way through college with a wash & wax business and then creating and selling a cigar company now worth millions.
|Letter from Donald Trump||viii|
|Introduction: Why We're Here||1|
|1||The Spirit of Enterprise||9|
|Lessons Learned: On Goals||20|
|Lessons Learned: On Values||42|
|3||The Price Is Right||47|
|Lessons Learned: On Strategy||62|
|4||Business as Usual||65|
|Lessons Learned: On Leadership||98|
|5||Business as Unusual||105|
|Lessons Learned: On Vision||134|
|6||Playing the Game||143|
|Lessons Learned: On Execution||174|
|7||Putting It All Together||181|
|Lessons Learned: On Success||196|
The world is a business, Mr. Beale.
It has been since man crawled out of the slime.
-- Paddy Chayefsky, Network
Ask any successful person to look back over the events of his or her life, and chances are there'll be a turning point of one kind or another. It doesn't matter if that success has come on a ball field or in a boardroom, in a research laboratory or on a campaign trail -- it can usually be traced to some pivotal moment. A lightbulb over the head. A rude awakening. An unexpected turn.
Here's mine, and I set it here at the outset because it has informed every decision I've made since. I was a couple of months out of college, and a couple of months into my first career-oriented job. I'd waxed boats and rehabbed cars and worked all kinds of hustles as a student looking to pocket some cash (more on these efforts in just a few pages), but this was my first hitch in a real-world job, working for a big corporation in anything like a big way. I'd hired on with a commodity metals company as an outside salesman, which was actually an interesting career move considering I knew about as much about commodity metals as I knew about fertilizer or waste management or industrial bathroom supplies. That is, I knew crap. I even said as much when I went in for my interview, but the guy doing the hiring didn't seem to care. He liked that I was honest and young, and he liked how I came across.
From my perspective, there wasn't much to like about the job beyond the paycheck and the chance to try out a variety of sales strategies that would serve me well later, but I was coming to realize that a decent paycheck can make up for a whole lot. Ever since my graduation in May, I'd been holding out for a dream job at a dream salary, and it took me until August to realize that these dreams were pretty much a fantasy and I'd better grab what I could. One by one, all of my college buddies had taken these nothing-special entry-level jobs, pushing papers for $18,000 or $21,000 a year (and hating the work besides), and I'd turn up my nose and tell them I wasn't about to get out of bed for anything less than $50,000. That was my line, my attitude. I'd gotten used to earning good money in my summer jobs, working with my hands, calling my own shots, making my own hours and collecting full value on the back of my full effort, and I simply couldn't see the point in busting my butt for a salary only slightly better than minimum wage. I was full of myself and thought my time was worth more than that. (And in truth it was, even though I was probably too young and arrogant to realize it.)
Anyway, my friends joined the workforce and left me hanging, to where I started to think maybe they were onto something. Maybe I'd missed a meeting or a memo telling me to get on board before the world passed me by. As a practical matter, it wasn't as much fun hanging out by myself all day while my buddies went to work, and I kept thinking maybe they knew something I didn't. At some point in all this uncertainty, I finally realized that I should just shut up and get out of bed and get to work, telling myself that if I didn't like the first job I found, I could always find another.
It was around this time that the commodity metals gig turned up and I went for it. Like I said, I didn't know the first thing about metals. Hell, I didn't know the second thing, either, but I was a quick study. I told the guy with some confidence that I could sell anything, and I honestly believed that I could.
The job didn't quite pay $50,000, but if I succeeded, it would get me close. I had a company car at my disposal, an expense account, and a guaranteed salary of $30,000, plus commissions. Really, it was cush, and with any luck I figured I could push my take well over my $50,000 target. It was all I could do to keep from calling my buddies and telling them how smart I was for holding out.
One of the most interesting things about the job was that I was the youngest guy on the sales force. By about ten to fifteen years. All of the other salesmen were in their forties, and there I was, all of twenty-three, playing in the big leagues. These guys had kids and mortgages and car payments. Me, I was living with my parents, same house I'd grown up in, and all I was worried about was pizza and walking- around money, so the stakes were entirely different. To them, it was everything; to me, it was just an okay gig, a place to start.
There was a lot to learn. I'd sold myself as a salesman, but in truth I had no idea how to sell. I learned by watching, by listening to the sales pitches that worked and the ones that didn't, by modeling my demeanor on some of the more successful salesmen we had in the field. The good ones displayed a quiet confidence. They were never desperate to make a sale, which I eventually learned was because desperation never closed any deal. Their confidence came from knowing they had a good product at a good price, and because the deals they were offering were profitable all around. It's a lot easier to sell when you can stand behind your product or service and know you've got the goods ...You're Hired
Posted March 4, 2011
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