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Evan Carmichael discusses how you break through with your business like one of the most successful women entrepreneurs of all time, Mary Kay Ash.
"Most successful people are ordinary people with extraordinary determination." -- Mary Kay Ash
Learn more at: http://www.evancarmichael.com/Famous-Entrepreneurs/871/summary.php and http://community.telustalksbusiness.com/blogs/talk_business/2010/06/22/how-to-break-through-like-mary-kay-ash
Mary Kay Ash (May 12, 1918 -- November 22, 2001) was an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. Raised in a time when few women were in business, let alone successful in business, Ash broke down barriers on her rise up to creating a multi-billion dollar operation.
Ash used her $5,000 life savings to open a cosmetics company, Beauty by Mary Kay. Ash had bought the formula for a skin-care cream she was using as well as a storefront in Dallas, and began hiring friends as independent beauty consultants, her term for salespeople.
In its first year, company sales reached $198,000, primarily from sales sessions, or 'skin care classes', her sales team would hold in private homes. At the time of Ash's death, Mary Kay Cosmetics had over 800,000 representatives in 37 countries, with total annual sales over $2 billion at retail.
Action Item #1: Break Down Barriers in Your Way
Starting a business is tough. It can be hard to get customers to believe in a new company and people will doubt your ability to succeed. At times you might even wonder if you made the right decision or if you're better off going back and getting a job.
Mary Kay Ash was tired of being held back and being told that she was "just thinking like a woman." Starting her own business was her chance to reach her full potential. According to Ash, "You cannot keep determined people from success. If you place stumbling blocks in their way, they will use them for stepping-stones and climb to new heights."
No matter what challenges you come up against, remind yourself of why you started your business and what your vision is. Break big barriers down into small chunks and tackle them one by one until the problem is solved. Whatever you do, don't give up!
Action Item #2: Live by the Golden Rule
Whether you are dealing with customers, suppliers, the media, employees, partners, or someone else who can have a meaningful impact on your business, remember that you're dealing with a person and people like to be recognized and appreciated.
Mary Kay Ash's advice is simple: "I have learned to imagine an invisible sign around each person's neck that says 'Make me feel important.' I never cease to be amazed at how positively people react when they're made to feel important. Everyone wants to be appreciated. So, if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret."
As a business owner there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done which can often cause us to get stressed out and treat people poorly. Try to remember Mary Kay Ash's rule and make the people around you feel important and appreciated. You'll see far better business results and you'll have a lot more fun as well!
Action Item #3: Be Enthusiastic
Your business idea doesn't have to be the most creative or original. What can make the difference between success and failure is your enthusiasm for what you're selling. When you're enthusiastic you'll be more convincing and you'll have an easier time convincing people to take action.
According to Mary Kay, "Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm. If you act enthusiastic, you become enthusiastic. A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one."
Running a business can be a grind and sometimes we can lose our own enthusiasm for the company. When this happens remind yourself again why you started the business and try to get excited about the next meeting you're going to have. If others sense how excited you are they are more likely to be convinced and want to get involved. This in turn will give you more energy and enthusiasm so don't waste the opportunity!
How have you broken down barriers to build your company? Do you have any examples of how recognizing others and being enthusiastic have helped your business? As always, I've love to hear your thoughts if you leave a comment below!