Vicky Llerena (Social Vibes Media): There’s nothing small about the Small Business Expo in New York City. With over 9,000 attendees and over 300 vendors, this is the largest business exposition in the tri-state area. I’m standing next to Bill Walsh, the CEO and founder of business coaching venture capital firm called Powerteam International. He is a successful entrepreneur, author, public speaker, he has been an invited guest speaker all over the world. Bill, I’m sure everyone is wondering how you made your first billion dollars. What I want to know is, what makes a business idea a multimillion dollar business idea?
Bill Walsh: Well first of all, to be a great entrepreneur, you got to be a little crazy. I mean, I hate to tell you that, but you got to think outside the box. Sometimes the people close to you will think you’re nuts, and if your friends and family think you’re crazy or nuts, you’re probably on the right path. So it’s not just the great idea that makes the business, it’s also the great leader. I would many times take an O-K idea with a great leader versus a great idea with an O-K leader. I know for a fact the O-K leader is probably going to fail, almost all the time. So the idea of what makes a great entrepreneur or great business owner, always think about where the market is going. You know? Think about where the market is going and get their first. So I can tell you for a fact today, anything mobile related, anything mobile related today, whether it be education, downloads, games anything that moves people to build communities. And if you look at the most successful brands today, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Uber, they’ve all done one thing very well, they’ve all built great communities. So if you’re going to launch a business make sure you got a business that’s going to generate recurring revenue and more importantly builds a great community. If you put those two things together; recurring revenue, build a great community you’re going to make a fortune.
SVM: Bill, speaking about success, the opposite of success is failure. Why do you think small businesses fail?
Walsh: Well, there’s a lot of reasons why they fail. but the crazy part I believe that the definition of success, to get to become really successful, is you combine two words persistence plus failure. I know for a fact guys, I’ve been broke and wealthy, no doubt broke sucks, but I’ve been there. But when you’re broke you’ll always find out who your true friends are. You’ll always find that your true friends walk in as everybody else walks out. But when we look at most entrepreneurs and why do they fail, they fail for one big thing and it’s calls self-doubt. At a certain point if you believe you can or you can’t in your life, you’re right, Henry Ford was right on the money when he said that. But I think a lot of times it could be capital, systems, programs, marketing, but it all starts up here, right? It’s what your belief system, and if you believe you can or can not do something, you’ll figure the rest out. I mean, Cornel Sanders was laughed at for years. You know, he was laughed at that people thought he was going to launch this idea called Kentucky Fried Chicken. But sure enough, after a thousand and six people, he found someone that believed in him and wrote the check to invest in the idea. So, the big breakthrough for a lot of entrepreneurs, you have to believe in where you’re going, even when no one else does. That’s a big driver for entrepreneurs.
SVM: Bill, your book is called, The Obvious. Why The Obvious?
Walsh: Well have you ever seen the movie called The Secret? So The Secret is all about the laws of attraction, and you can believe it all, and I believe all of that. But the next step is, you have to get off your ass. You actually have to get to work What a concept! So The Obvious is really rules, and principles, and concepts and ideas that we know for a fact can help you elevate your idea, you goal, you dream into a real business, because I do believe it’s hard work. If someone tells you there’s magic dust or get rich quick, just run away. I don’t believe in any get rich quick. I don’t believe in any just magic dust to build a business. I believe it’s hard work. It’s persistence creating lots of value, going out and serving your customers create tons of value in the marketplace, and you’ll get paid.
SVM: Bill, you know, many people have misconceptions about millionaires. What’s one misconception about millionaires that you can debunk?
Walsh: Well, it’s always like, that it just showed up for them. That they just become millionaires overnight, right? I am telling you, you never hear the tireless travel. So for example, I travel two weeks a month all over the world, right, to speak. You don’t hear about the red- eye flights. You don’t hear about the waking up early, going to bed late. You don’t hear about waking up in cities you don’t even know what country you’re in. Right? You don’t realize that many times that, you’ll work sometimes for something for three days, three weeks, three months, and not have success in that idea, only to realize you learned one thing for the next idea. You know? So a lot of times the big theory is that it just shows up for them, it doesn’t. Most millionaires that actually are self-driven and they built it, they actually always paid in advanced and they always paid full price. SVM: Do you fly in private jets?
Walsh: I do fly in private jets a lot, I fly commercial too. I love Virgin, I love American, United. I get to frequent almost all of them. But I do love private, I mean the check-in line is like five minutes, which is not so bad. And for some reason, any time you’re flying private more of your friends want to fly with you. Does that make sense? Crazy how that works. When there’s a chance to go on the private jet, they all show up.
SVM: Speaking about friends, do you hang out with celebrities?
Walsh: I do as a matter of fact. As a matter of fact, just the last couple days in New York I was with my good friend Kevin Harrington that just launched a brand new thing called StarShop with Sprint. And also we were there with Paula Abdul. I get to hang out with a lot of celebrities, but you know what? The bottom line is that celebrities are just people. You know? They really are. They’re no different. It’s when you treat them different, or you try to be like, some special thing to them. You don’t need to be that, just be yourself. Right? The more successful someone is the more approachable they are. And if somebody’s not approachable and they’re a jerk, just move on. It’s not someone you want to spend time with anyway.
SVM: Bill, as a successful entrepreneur, can you maintain a healthy balance of business and lifestyle with family?
Walsh: Well, you know, that’s always the challenge right? It’s like where do you create that balance? I don’t think there’s anything that’s called “perfect balance.” I think perfect balance is when you’re dead. You’re laid flat out, right? I believe you create more balance when you’re moving forward. So, you know, I think you’ve got to set that priority aside and I believe there’s not music without the spaces. So you’ve got to schedule the fun time also, you know? So for me it’s always quality time with my kids that came first. I really believe that quality time with quality people will make your life amazing, but i think also you’ve got to put your time into the business, you know? So it’s like how do you balance all that? It’s not easy to do those things, but there’s no doubt about it. It’s always a work in progress, right? But I know for a fact when I look at my calendar, I always schedule almost two full months off a year so I can have that quality time with the kids, right? But I think it’s also balancing that time too as well.
SVM: Bill, besides The Obvious, which I’m sure is your favorite book, what other books do you read?
Walsh: I read lots of books. One of my favorite books for all entrepreneurs. It’s probably one of my favorite of all time, it’s called Think and Grow Rich it was by Napoleon Hill. It’s something you do want to read for sure if you’re an entrepreneur and grow that business. I like Blue Ocean Strategy. I like, ah, I mean there’s so many great new books that are out there. Any of the Mark Victor Henson books. Chicken Soup for the Soul is a great book to read, but these are all things that leaders are readers. Leaders are definitely readers and if you don’t like reading, go to YouTube. You know? Go type in a guys name, Jim Rohn, he was Tony Robbins first employer so if you’re thinking about break through and challenge in your life he was one of the greatest guys in the planet, and most of his content is free on YouTube.
SVM: From the book, The Obvious, what’s one piece of advice you can share with us today?
Walsh: Well I have tons of pieces of advice, but I think the big one is that, you schedule your success or you’ve just planned your failure. So schedule your success or plan your failure. So what that means is that, plan the whole next year out. You know, we always call it reverse engineering your success, which means, you would never build a house by just throwing a bunch of stuff on a lot. You literally start with the architect, the plan, the design, the idea, the picture of it, all finished. Do the same thing for your business. Give your business the same respect that it deserves that you’re using to build a multi multi-million-dollar house, because it’s the same process. Takes a couple years to build a great house, take that same time to build a great business.
SVM: If people wanted to learn more about you, Bill, where can they visit or how can they reach you?
Walsh: We always create lots of free downloads. You can go to my website, billwalsh360 That’s billwalsh360.com or our corporate site for lots of free newsletters and more gifts, go to www.ipowerteam.com
SVM: What’s in the future for Bill?
Walsh: More countries. Helping more entrepreneurs. Creating more foundations. Giving more back. You know, we’re launching a new whole microloan program to help small businesses start world wide. Just very excited about lecturing at even more universities. I was honored to speak at Harvard last year and the year before, because I really do think that this is a great time to inspire young entrepreneurs. So I love the idea of that. Working with more charities. Helping more young entrepreneurs like, we teamed up with Big Brothers, Big Sisters nation-wide so they can send a lot of their kids through our course and our programs. So I think more charitable work world-wide.
SVM: Bill, what’s the one thing that you do right before you start your day?
Walsh: Well, every day I wake up and thank God. So it always starts there, right? If I can give you guys one great tip to really increase your success , it’s called gratitude power. Realize that some people didn’t wake up this morning. You know, realize that, whatever challenge you’re facing, you’re not alone. All entrepreneurs face lots of challenges, but I wake up thankful every day, and then I always have a preset plan. We build an achievement list the night before. I don’t believe in to-do lists, I believe in achievement lists. We always have them setup the night before, so you know today, not what you’re doing, this is important guys, it’s what you’re delegating.