Armando Montelongo, Founder and CEO, Armando Montelongo, Inc.
“It takes years to become an overnight success.”
This is a statement I offer with unabashed pleasure when people assume my ascendance is manufactured from a reality TV show. Malcolm Gladwell’s assessment of requirement for success being 5,000 hours of practice is spot on. I would add that an unwavering amount of intestinal fortitude is essential in parallel.
The dictionary definition of “entrepreneurship” is lacking. Although “owning your own business and taking on greater financial risks than normal,” may or may not be an element, it has much more to do with a mindset and having the proper business acumen to chart the trepid waters of enterprise.
Being homeless, bunking temporarily on your parents-in-law’s garage couch is hard enough. Being homeless while finding out your wife and first child were given “first rights” to birth complications is even harder. It’s tough to imagine that a situation like that could spark an “aha” moment and launch a multi-million dollar company but that’s how it started for me and far from manufactured celebrity. That moment, my entrepreneurship was born and what followed were years of hard work and many lessons learned, mostly the hard way.
The following three steps have been guiding principles for business sustainability and have proven to be resistant to any economic tumult.
1. Push emotional boundaries
Some have said there is no emotion in business and the numbers don’t lie. They are wrong on both. Business is, and better be, emotional. It should be fueled by passion, and in order for passion to be translated into action, it must be consistent and authentic. Great entrepreneurs draw from bad experiences and realize they have what it takes to come out the other side. A great entrepreneur puts others on their shoulders when standing at the abyss, leads with the learned skills to rise above, and charges to empower the enterprise towards the goal.
2. Increase your top line to increase your bottom line
Too many entrepreneurs are linear or so single-minded on profit that they forget a successful business must be steeped in a long-term strategy. That being said, reinvesting in one’s company to better serve every area of engagement is crucial. You exist because your consumers say you do and you must remain mindful of that. Planning for long-term returns in any economic climate is smarter than reacting to short-term situations. As such bottom-line indicators alone can drive a company to peril. Long-term success pushes the accelerator to invest in the necessary infrastructure, human capital and business concepts to catapult a business. Improving business before customers’ requests will allow for market share growth to be steadily maintained.
3. Have talented people around you to build the brand
There has never been a great entrepreneur that has run a successful business long term by themselves. Firstly, no one person can know it all. Secondly, doing it alone provides grave limitations. Even the most self-aware would have a hard time providing the necessary objective stance required vetting issues. Knowing yourself – your talents and your limitations – and knowing what’s best for your company are imperative to develop a successful business. Even if you are the face and thought-leader behind the brand, a balanced group of talented people to assist with handling the various areas of expertise will result in growth.
Every entrepreneur’s success story begins with vision. However, vision-turned-multi-million-dollar-company is always backed by a story of inspiration, aspiration and recalibration.
A key attribute of a successful entrepreneur is to understand that tomorrow is another day with the unwavering believe in him or herself to withstand the slings and arrows of the ever-changing business topography. People may confuse this quality as egotistical, but in truth, it’s a requirement to survive. Either having or teaching oneself the necessary intentional fortitude required for long-term success is the crucial differentiator to grow from good to great.
About Armando Montelongo
Armando Montelongo, Founder and CEO of Fortune 500-ranked company Armando Montelongo, Inc., and former (and first) host of A&E’s “Flip This House,” is the nation’s preeminent house flipper known for averaging 25 flips per month. Armando Montelongo Companies promote the concept of creating a sustainable life and wealth accumulation through personal growth, self-reliance and empowerment. The company is a proud recipient of the 2012 & 2013 Inc. Hire Power Award, the Best Places to Work in San Antonio 2012, and the 2011 & 2012 Inc. 500 Award.