Today I ate lunch with my first billionaire and I asked him the question…
“Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 25 year old self if you could go back and offer one piece of advice to him?”
Without a beat he replied, “There is no better time than now!” Throughout the lunch he proceed to give incredibly simple but valuable advice on ways to be successful and live a life worth living.
Here are the top five success lessons I learned from Red McCombs:
1) Be a Team Player: Paraphrasing one of his stories Red said “If you can’t get along with the team, you can’t play on my team.” He talked about a time when he had to let go of one of his favorite players because he was acting up in the locker room after games and the other guys didn’t want to be around him. Be a team player and help out when and where you can. You contribute to the bigger picture.
2) Best Time is Now: There is no better time to start something than right now. Just get in and do it. He said “It’s not about picking the right thing, its about picking something and doing it right. Do it better than the other guy does it and you will be successful in no time.” He is right, be better than the other person selling the same thing you are selling and word gets out.
3) It’s Not Easy or Accidental: In a condensed version he said “Business is not easy or accidental. You need a plan and need to understand this is hard work. If you get those two things down early, you will have a fun ride and enjoy life. Plan and work.” Remember… you are the one who makes things happen in your life, no one else!
4) Only Focus on One Thing at a Time: If you are at a meeting, focus on that meeting. If you are doing a deal with a future investor, only be present in that room. Focus on the here and now and don’t let your mind slip away to other tasks. If you stay focused you will accomplish more, have more and be more successful!
5) Don’t Call Me at Home: Red is 86 years old and works six days a week and has for decades. But when he is at home, you don’t call him. That is his time with his family, with his wife and kids, it is not about work. He mentioned being with his family as a very important thing and was quoted for saying “I don’t care if the station is burning down, don’t call me at home, it can wait till tomorrow!”
What I like most about Red is he is a real guy who is genuine, down to earth and business savvy. He cares about his family more than anything, loves to do business with quality people and continues to take calculated risks. He speaks from the heart and knows where he stands on what he believes.
I would eat lunch with Red any day of the week and am thankful I had the opportunity to do so today! Go out there and make your dreams come true. They are waiting for you as long as you remain a team player, start now, plan, stay focused and care about the most important people in your life…. Your family!
Question: If you could ask an extremely successful person one question, what would you ask them?