Carol Roth is a business strategist, a deal-maker and the author of the best-selling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She has raised over $1Billion in investments, has her own action figure and is a national media personality. She knows how to make money, how to grow business and how to get things done!
Writing The Entrepreneur Equation | One thing that I found over and over again was that a lot of folks were giving some seven step plan to success and I kept saying, “Well, we all have a different definition of success, so how could we all follow the same plan to get to completely different end points?” It didn’t make any sense to me. So I wanted to create a framework where you could look at your own circumstances and what was going on with you in terms of your experience and your mindset and your timing and your finances and your personality in general to see
a) if you were even appropriately served by entrepreneurship, if it was consistent with your goals,
b) if you were pursuing the right types of opportunities.
Being Patient with Business | I finally have Oprah Winfrey to point to. Oprah Winfrey, who has more friends, more money, more resources, more connections than anybody potentially in the world, started a new network 3 years ago, and you know, it’s still finding its foundation. And while the entire media is surprised about this, I’m not because in today’s world it takes 2-3 years for a business to get its foundation underneath it. So if you think you’re going to be any different from Oprah Winfrey, you’ve got another think coming to you. So give yourself enough time both mentally and in terms of capital to be able to have this business gain a foundation. It’s very slow and painful; there’s a lot of ups and downs and it takes a while.
Give-and-Take Relationships | I always focus on a give-to-get and I focus on that from a very authentic place. I don’t give expecting quid pro quo, but I give to build relationships. And then if those relationships work out and I get to know those people then eventually it does come back in spades, because when you create a relationship with people they are willing to do things for you. So I think that you need to be patient and definitely identify people you think could be helpful, but don’t expect that you’re going to sit down with somebody who doesn’t know you and you don’t have a pre-existing relationship with… and they’re all of a sudden going to do you a favour and put their neck on the line for you.
Reasons Failure Happens | I think successes are much more unique stories than failures. Failures always boil down to the same things, that people aren’t working hard enough, they aren’t working smart enough, they’re making a lot of excuses, they’re wasting their time in the wrong directions.
What Drives Me | I’m one of those people that tends to be motivated not by positive interaction but more by negative. If you tell me I can’t do something, I am more likely to do it than if you tell me that I can. So I had to kind of understand what motivated me, and by putting it out there and potentially getting any resistance to it that would just be more fuel for me to go, “I’ll show you!”
Performing at my Peak | I actually feel like I am more chaotic when there’s nothing going on. I am somebody who feeds off activity and momentum, so I actually show up better and personally am probably more in balance when every second is filled and I’m just trying to manage it all, rather than if there’s a hole.
Resources I Use | Les McKeown who was a very good friend of mine, of Predictable Success, who’s written a couple of books, is brilliant. Liz Strauss does a lot of great stuff in relationship building. Amber Nazlan does a lot of great stuff on social media. So there are always people who are, you know, sort of specialists, but right now, given the things that I’m focused on, I’m more keeping up with current events, so I’m spending my time reading the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Barron’s more than I am necessarily reading people’s blogs. And fortunately, with Twitter, from time to time a very interesting thing comes out and I blog onto it.
The Meaning of Life | I have no idea what the meaning of life is. I just know that at the end of the day all you have is your word and your reputation and you can’t take your stuff with you, that people come in and out of your lives, whether by the grace of God or by change of circumstances and at the end of the day it’s all about you and the only person you can rely upon is yourself. And so the kinds of things that you do, when nobody else is looking, you’re going to have to live with those for the rest of your life, and only you can decide whether you know who you are and if you have adhered to a standard and a code of ethics and lived your life in a way that works for you.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | Life’s short. I mean, it sounds cliché, but my dad always says 100 years from now, none of this is going to mean anything. So I think you need to keep everything in perspective. Things that seem like they are a major crisis or meltdown or, you know, that everything is in disarray, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that important, so just try to keep everything in perspective. I think it’ll keep you grounded.
Advice to Others | Make sure people know that they should not mistake your kindness for weakness.