Most people have someone in their lives who's a hustler (or a Diva, as Beyoncé says). They're the ones who simply outwork everyone else, oozing scrappiness and demonstrating laser focus. Where others have tried and failed, they're able make something out of nothing. It's an invaluable characteristic in business. Those who put in extra effort, follow up on every potential opportunity, and always look ahead are usually able to make great things happen. In other words, you create your own luck.
YPO member Robert Morcos knows how to hustle. It's that attitude that allowed him to start his first business at age 8, and enter the telecom industry at age 15. Today, Robert is the founder and CEO of Social Mobile Telecommunications, a vertically integrated OEM that specializes in providing customizable and scalable Android-based smart solutions for the Enterprise market. Hustle was baked into Social Mobile from its inception in 2011. As a result, Morcos and his team have designed, developed, and deployed over 10 million smart devices into 20 countries. This success doesn't come from divine intervention - it results from hard work.
Here is Morcos' advice on how to make hustle an integral part of your company:
1. Demonstrate Dedication
Success starts from the top. "You need to be relentless - YOU," Morcos says. "To create a corporate culture of dedication, your people need to see you laser focused 24/7." The best leaders do as they demand from others. "Tony Robbins says that entrepreneurs are modern day gladiators," Morcos comments. "You need to have grit to get it done, and others will follow your lead." Do the little things, too, Morcos advises: "Eliminate distractions, and say no when you need to. Stay organized and punctual, and plan your day in advance." Give your team a map of good behavior to follow. It's an oldie but a goodie: Lead by example.
2. Follow Up Your Follow Ups
Whether its problem solving for a customer, closing a deal, or working with a supplier, you need to be relentless. "Always, always follow up," Morcos asserts. He laments, "Sometimes people give up when they don't get an immediate reply or find a solution right away." You have to keep at it. When it comes to sales, "You're never a priority for someone until they absolutely need your solution," he advises, "so show them why they need you." If you come up against a wall, don't relent. Morcos says, "Keep following up! Keep pushing, or look for another way of achieving the goal." You never know the opportunities that can result from this persistence.
3. Get Your Ducks in a Row
Even the greatest businesspeople in the world can't do it all by themselves. Morcos says, "Surround yourself with the right team. You can't do it alone. You need a solid group to achieve your goals. The sooner you get this done, the better." But the work doesn't stop there. Just like you, teams need an end goal to strive towards. Morcos advises, "Once you have your team in place, get them all aligned behind the same mission. It's important that the entire team understands the mission, business model, and where the company is heading. Don't allow anyone to get sidetracked." Everyone needs to understand the intricacies of the objective, so they can master what it takes to get there.
The only constant is change, and leaders need to confront the realities of their industries. "Business has its ups and downs," Morcos acknowledges. He relays his own experience as an example: "We started Social Mobile with a vision very different than what we have now. When we struggled, we had to think outside the box to see what we were missing, and then take what we learned and regroup." There's always more to learn. Networking is one of Morcos' favorite learning tools. He says, "I like to network all the time. I like talking to other people, and they have so much wisdom to share." The more you can learn from the success and failure of others, the better you can direct your company towards success.
5. Don't Just Be - DO!
Morcos is a big believer in making your own luck. He says, "Everyone knows the importance of being in the right place in the right time. And preparation puts you in a position for luck." He warns, however, that while luck has taken you this far, it won't take you any further. He asserts, "Now you have to seize the opportunity! You've worked hard to generate the luck, so now get something done!" Make your luck work for you.
Each week Kevin explores exclusive stories inside YPO, the world's premiere peer-to-peer organization for chief executives, eligible at age 45 or younger.