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6 essential traits of a successful entrepreneur with Gino Wickman



Photo by Dan Burton

The world’s most successful entrepreneurs share specific traits that have helped them turn their grandest dreams into realities. Whether you’re looking to start a business or seeking ways to improve your current one, these characteristics are essential to be successful, says best-selling author and self-made businessman Gino Wickman.

Gino Rickman

After taking over his debt-ridden family business at the age of 25, Wickman worked hard through seven years of trial and error before turning the business around and selling the company. Now, with 30 years of successful entrepreneurship under his belt, Wickman shares his insights in the hopes of helping the future leaders of the world achieve their greatest ambitions.

According to Wickman, it takes a lot more than a great idea and a lot of luck to be successful in entrepreneurship. It boils down to one’s character—six essential traits to be exact. “You’re born with them,” he says. “They can’t be taught. They’ve been with you your whole life.” 

No matter who you are or where you come from, as long as you have these six essential traits, Wickman says you have what it takes to turn your great idea into a multi-million dollar business. 

6 essential traits of an entrepreneur

1. Visionary

Maybe you have a great idea. Maybe you have a lot of great ideas. But can you connect the dots between these great ideas? Wickman calls this the sixth sense. “You see things others don’t see. You see around corners. You just have this way of putting things together.”

2. Passionate

A passion is that one thing you’re truly obsessed with. It’s what you love, what makes you tick, and what makes you truly excited to jump out of bed in the morning. It’s your thing, your product, or your service. No matter what your “thing” is, what matters is how strong you believe in it. “You want to fill a void in the world.”

3. Problem-solver

“Every cloud has a silver lining. You see solutions when people are seeing problems.” This one’s for all the optimists out there. You aren’t afraid of a challenge—in fact, you likely thrive on facing challenges. When facing problems or setbacks, you’re able to find creative solutions. 

4. Driven

Entrepreneurship takes hard work and motivation. You have to be a hustler. It requires a certain sense of urgency and need to accomplish your goals. “You have this eternal fire,” says Wickman. It’s not just a dream or an idea—it’s a burning desire to make this dream a reality, and you won’t stop until you do. 

5. Risk-taker

Are you able to make tough decisions? Are you willing to fail? You’re willing to take risks because “you know that failure is all part of the process.” The first startup Bill Gates ever built was a complete failure, but it helped him create Microsoft. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple before he invented the iPhone. According to Wickman, it’s okay to fail. In fact, it’s necessary.

6. Responsible

Being responsible means that when you do happen to fail, you don’t blame others. There’s no room for entitlement in the world of an entrepreneur. “When you have a problem, when something goes wrong, you look at yourself, you don’t look at others.”


So where do you begin? Start with two simple questions: Do you set goals and do you love to learn? If the answer is yes, you might have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Wickman designed a 25-question assessment that tells you if you have the traits in just 10 minutes. The quiz presents a series of statements to which you rate your level of agreement truthfully, and if you score a 90 or higher, the odds are in your favor.

After taking the quiz, Wickman offers advice to help put your plan into action and achieve your goals. In his novel, Entrepreneurial Leap, he shares real-life stories and provides a glimpse into the life of an entrepreneur, providing tools and resources to adapt, shift, and address hardships along the way. And while nothing is ever 100% certain, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, Wickman assures that “as an entrepreneur with these six essential traits, you have the ability to evolve, and bob, and weave, and adjust to what comes.”

To hear more from Wickman, check out the full Full Comp episode with Josh Kopel, and listen or subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Ready for more? Check out more episodes of Full Comp:

Episode 1: Building a Restaurant Empire in a Recession: Tender Greens’ Erik Oberholtzer

Episode 2: Creating Opportunity from Tragedy: Serial Restaurateur Darin Rubell

Episode 3: Redefining Cocktail Culture: Death & Co’s Alex Day

Episode 4: The Art of the Pivot: Iron Chef Eric Greenfield

Episode 10: How to build a $10 million restaurant: Chef Sam Marvin of Bottega Louie

Episode 14: The Benefits of Community Building: Chef Nina Compton, Chef/Owner of Compère Lapin

Episode 22: The Art of the Pivot: Mark Canlis, owner/operator of Canlis

Episode 26: The Future of Restaurants: Dean Alex Susskind, Cornell University

Episode 28: The Road Back: Adam Perry Lang, Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur

Episode 34: Becoming a Brand: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila

Episode 36: Fighting the Good Fight: Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless

Episode 45: Revolutionary Leadership: Kat Cole, COO of FOCUS Brands

Episode 56: 12 Things Every Restaurateur Needs to Hear: Seth Godin


Full Comp, episode 25 transcript
Taking the Entrepreneurial Leap: Gino Wickman, Bestselling Author and Business Coach

[Josh Kopel]

Today’s episode is brought to you by Yelp, whose mission is to connect people with great local businesses. They’re also helping to connect with you, which is totally awesome. Now, here we go.

[Gino Wickman]

My wish for everyone out there is that you shift your thinking to 10-year thinking. I learned it 17 years ago, and when I did it was life changing for me because time slowed down, I started making better decisions. There’s a calm that came over me and I got there faster.

[Josh Kopel]

Welcome to Full Comp, a show offering insight into the future of the hospitality industry. Featuring restaurant tours, thought leaders and innovators, served up on the house.

[Josh Kopel]

If hosting this show has made one thing incredibly clear it’s that teamwork, data and resources will be what help us thrive post-pandemic. Understanding that, Yelp and I’ve created a cheat sheet offering insight into consumer behavior, popular trends, and free tools and resources to help you get open and stay open. You can download that guide at joshkopel.com/resources. Didn’t write that down. There’s a link in the show notes as well.

[Josh Kopel]

Not all heroes wear capes, some write books. The books Gino Wickman has written are directly responsible for helping me create multimillion dollar businesses, become a better leader and find balance within my personal and professional lives. Today, we discuss his latest book, entrepreneurial leap and how we can apply those lessons to the hospitality industry.

[Gino Wickman]

It was both a passion project, labor of love and a desire and need to heal the pain that I went through. So I taught what I needed the most as the saying goes. And so I viewed myself and saw myself, that 18 year old who was lost and mislabeled and confused and insecure. So I was this mislabeled derelict while I was an entrepreneur in the making. And I didn’t discover I was an entrepreneur until 29. And so that’s 11 years of confusion. And so anyone out there age 13 to 93, that’s scratching their head and thinking they might be an entrepreneur in the making. The whole idea is to help them understand what they are, confirm that they are, show them a glimpse of what’s possible and then give them a path to become why they were put on this earth and greatly increase their odds of success.

[Josh Kopel]

I think that’s absolutely amazing. And step one is going to be to identify the entrepreneurs within our organization. Right? Can you walk me through the key traits that entrepreneurs have?

[Gino Wickman]

For sure. And I like how you said that though, identify the entrepreneurs at your organization. I think as I understand it, the large part of the audience here is hospitality and restaurant, right? And as I think about people working in a restaurant and servers, I think they do, they are kind of, a lot of them are entrepreneurs or at least have these traits. And so I think you’re saying that makes sense in your business, but if I’m talking to the head of an accounting firm, that’s the last thought in their mind is… So just know that you’re asking a unique question and you’re putting that, you’re saying that in a context that is pretty unusual for what that’s worth. Anyway, with that said to answer your question, can you re-ask it because I got on a roll there.

[Josh Kopel]

Absolutely. But just to quickly speak to what you said, it’s absolutely true. The servers, the bartenders, the bussers that work within the hospitality industry are running a business within a business. Right. And so, I understand that in some industries hiring a bunch of entrepreneurs is probably counterproductive. But within the confines of our industry, one that’s the norm. And, two, it’s an opportunity because the success of their micro business is the success of your business that they’re working through.

[Gino Wickman]

That’s so great. So yeah, you said that better than I certainly was trying to say that. So, a great jumping off point is… So as we’re talking to that audience, what I’ve discovered and learned is that a true entrepreneur has six essential traits. And I would love to start there to kick this off because I want the listener to scan their body and first and foremost, make sure they have the traits of an entrepreneur. And so with that, I’ll quickly jump there and just say, there are six essential traits. You’re born with them, they can’t be taught. They’ve been with you your whole life.

[Gino Wickman]

And for a lot of you out there, you’re going to discover these. They’ve always been there, but you never really put a name on them if you will. But the six are this, it’s visionary, passionate problem-solver, driven, risk taker, and responsible. And so those are the six and I can kind of do a two minute riff on all that and a deeper dive. But I want to start by getting that audience to listen and think about, “Hmm, are those things me? Are those the traits that I’ve been exhibiting?”

[Gino Wickman]

Do you want the two minute riff?

[Josh Kopel]

I do desperately.

[Gino Wickman]

Fantastic. And so as I give it, I always urge again, just kind of listen in and scan your body and see if this resonates with you. But when I say visionary, visionary means that you have lots of ideas and you’re able to connect the dots and you have this sixth sense and you see things others don’t see, you see around corners. You just have this way of putting things together.

[Gino Wickman]

Passionate means that you have passion for your thing, your product, your service. You’re not passionate about all things, but man, that thing that you’re obsessed about, you have incredible passion, strong belief. You want to fill a void in the world.

[Gino Wickman]

A problem solver means that you’re a creative problem solver. You just see creative solutions to problems and setbacks. You’re an optimist by nature. So you lean into those setbacks. Every cloud has a silver lining. You see solutions when people are seeing problems.

[Gino Wickman]

Driven means you have this internal fire, you have this drive that’s always been with you. You’re competitive. You want to succeed. You’re self motivated. You hustle. You love working hard.

[Gino Wickman]

Risk-taker is that you don’t freeze when it comes time to make a tough decision. You make that tough decision. You’re rebellious by nature. You’re willing to fail. You don’t want to fail, but you know that failure is all part of the process. And you tend to air on the side of begging for forgiveness than asking for permission.

[Gino Wickman]

And responsible just simply means that you blame no one. You don’t believe in entitlement. When something happens, you look at yourself. When you have a problem, when something goes wrong, you look at yourself, you don’t look at others. And the world is split into two groups of people. Half the world, when something bad happens to them, they blame everyone else. And the other half, they look to themselves, they blame themselves and they take responsibility for whatever they’re faced with. And so that’s, that’s the two minute riff.

[Josh Kopel]

I love it. But people don’t have to wonder whether they’re entrepreneurs or not, right? You created an assessment online. So two parts, one, can you talk about the assessment and where people can find it? And then two, based off the specific nature of the hospitality industry, would you encourage entrepreneurs to give this test to their staff?

[Gino Wickman]

Well, so let’s take part one and then we’ll go to part two. Part one is, go take it. And so then you’ll have a better answer and understanding for the second part of this question. So yes, it’s available on the website e-leap.com. It will take you no more than 10 minutes. You’re going to answer 25 questions about yourself. And out is going to be a score. And simply put, if you score 90 or higher, odds are pretty damn good that you are an entrepreneur in the making. Okay. And so start there. As for sure you have all of your people take it. Again, it depends on what type of an organization I’m talking to. So if you are comfortable with letting your people flourish and become what they’re meant to be, and you’re comfortable with them potentially leaving you and taking their own entrepreneurial leap, then by all means, yes, give them these resources so they know. Because the other reality is they’re going to be one hell of an employee for you in the time that they’re learning and cutting their teeth and getting ready to take their entrepreneurial leap.

[Gino Wickman]

So sometimes they’re the best employees, even though a true entrepreneur is unemployable. I think, in your industry, I think it’s their opportunity to practice and learn and build their brand and learn how to sell and interact with customers. So there’s so many opportunities there. So my short answer on the second question would be yes, but it’s got to be you as the owner that’s comfortable letting them spread their wings, if that ultimately means them moving on someday.

[Josh Kopel]

And that leads to the next question, which is, what’s your advice for leading leaders? Understanding that there are going to be entrepreneurs within your organization, realistically, regardless of industry, right? Like in hospitality, we catch people young, right? We employ 18, 19, 20 year olds. So we catch people at the beginning of their career. We catch people while they’re still in college, while they’re pursuing their dreams. How do we get the most out of these people? Because it is an exceptional opportunity for them to learn using someone else’s money, right?

[Gino Wickman]

Yeah, it’s great. And I think I’m uniquely equipped to answer that question for you because that’s the world that I lived in for 30 years. When I took over the family business, my dad had created a company in the real estate industry that trained real estate sales agents. And he had a team of 50 trainers that would do the training. And so these were all independent contractors, true entrepreneurs, responsible for their own businesses, which we led when I took that business over. And then for the last 20 years, I built EOS worldwide with over 350 EOS implementers all over the world. That again are these wild and crazy, free, independent contractor entrepreneurs. And so we’re truly leading leaders. And so the best lesson and advice I can give is something I learned from a book called Drive. And it’s truly… Our team of implementers at EOS worldwide have heard me say this a thousand times, but it’s three things.

[Gino Wickman]

Give them autonomy, give them the opportunity for mastery and give them purpose and then let them fly. And so that’s what we’ve always done. We’ve always given the implementers autonomy. We have rules and guidelines we live by. There aren’t a lot of them. Other than that, you have total autonomy to go build your business, do your thing. Mastery is give them an opportunity to hone a craft of some sort. And so, again, you’re in this hospitality business, the restaurant business. Give them an opportunity to learn the business and master the business. And then purpose means give them a purpose. Hopefully that restaurant, the organization has a purpose and they feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. And those three words helped me build quite an organization that I sold two years ago. Still own 12.5%, but I’m no longer at the helm of that organization, but we built it to where we built it on that basic premise, those three things.

[Josh Kopel]

Which is absolutely amazing. I want to quote your book right now, “The bigger, the problem you solve in the world, the more successful you will be.” Can you talk to me about the biggest problems that you see facing entrepreneurs today in light of the pandemic? And the biggest problems that you see facing the hospitality industry?

[Gino Wickman]

Yeah, that’s really interesting. So, I want to start with a contextual point going into those two things because I really want to make sure this statement is understood because the way my mind works is I think in multi-decades, okay. And so I’m not worrying about this month, okay. I almost think it’s kind of silly, but listen, we are all battling a crisis here, okay. Now I’ve been doing this for 30 years. This was my fourth crisis I’ve been through. You kind of get good at crisis, but you also just, it’s a pattern, okay. So the point there is, I’m trying to get the entrepreneur to understand that the bigger the problem you solve, the more valuable and successful you’ll be. So your job is to get as close to the ground, keep your ear to the ground with your customers and clients and know their needs, know what they’re feeling, know what they want.

[Gino Wickman]

And to the degree, you know them better than they know themselves. You can then provide them value and you are valuable. And so if you understand that basic premise, if we look at 1000 years of entrepreneurial history, shit changes all the time, always changing on you. And so as an entrepreneur with these six essential traits, you have the ability to evolve, and bob, and weave, and adjust to what comes. And so that’s what we’re dealing with right now. We’ve got another change thrown at us, okay? And so my four crises was taking over a family business that needed to turn around. And I did a turnaround over three years and then the.com crash. I lost everything in the .com crash. And then ’08, ’09, we somehow survived that brutal bloodbath. And then here we are now in this one. So the point there is my business mentor said in a 10 year business cycle, you’re going to have two good years, two great years and say… I’m sorry, let me start over, I said that wrong.

[Gino Wickman]

You’re going to have two great years, six good years, and two terrible years that can put you out of business. And if you understand that he told me that 30 years ago, and that has held true almost to the letter and number. We’re in that two tough years and 10 years from now, it’s coming again. What it’s going to be, who the hell knows? A pandemic, a recession, a war, I don’t know, but something’s coming statistically. And so the point in all of that is if you understand that at a very, very high level, it will calm you down. But also your job in whatever good times and bad is, what does your customer want? What does your customer need? And we look at the restaurant industry now to go to your point, where I look in my town that I live in, the restaurants that are surviving adjusted quickly to this weird, new, crazy world where nobody could come into their restaurant.

[Gino Wickman]

When that’s all you’ve known for 20 years, how the heck do you get your head around people aren’t coming into my restaurant anymore? And so they figured out creative ways to get food to people. So the point there is what is your customer now need in this change? Listen to them, hear them and adjust to their needs. And so now you guys have the luxury of kind of copying off each other and the ones that are succeeding in what they’re doing. But the point here is we’re going to come out of this at some point. So that should never change. Two years from now, when things are going well again, keep your ear to the ground because the second you stop, you’re going to get caught blindsided. And so always keep your ear to the ground.

[Gino Wickman]

And then last little point using me as the example. My obsession is entrepreneur. So I am obsessed about helping them become successful. And that has been my life now for 30 years. Where again, for your audience, it might be the restaurant business, whatever it is. That’s my thing that I chose. That’s the thing that I’m passionate about. And I spend every waking minute in my working time obsessing about what is going on with my customers, with my clients, with entrepreneurs, how can I help them right now? And I’m just providing them value where they are at this moment. So hopefully, indirectly that answers your question, but please, please, re-ask it if I didn’t hit it head-on.

[Josh Kopel]

You did, you knocked it out of the park. But it does lead to my next question, which is in the book, you talk about having a 10-year plan. And we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and massive civil unrest. Is it an unrealistic expectation to craft a 10-year plan that you can stick to today? Or is it the best advice you could possibly give?

[Gino Wickman]

I think it’s the best advice you could possibly give and here’s why, okay. So with that, I want to say something, cause I always like to create context. This book that I wrote, Entrepreneurial Leap, and helping your audience decide do they have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? I wrote it in three parts. The first part is to first confirm that you are. And we talked about that, the six essential traits, go take the assessment, let’s confirm that you are.

[Gino Wickman]

Glimpse shows you a glimpse of all of the possibilities for you out there. What it looks like, what it feels like, so you can make a decision if it’s right for you. What’s beautiful about this podcast is that we’re already focusing on a specific industry where most of the audiences I’m talking to, it’s all walks of life, all potential industries, there’s so many options. What’s nice here is you’ve already been able to whittle down the industry that you’re attracted and drawn to.

[Gino Wickman]

The third part of the book is called Path. And this is where that I show a path for how to greatly increase your odds of success. So you’re asking a path question, okay. And what I’m teaching in that chapter is I’m teaching the power of 10-year thinking. My wish for everyone out there is that you shift your thinking to 10-year thinking. I learned it 17 years ago. And when I did, it was life changing for me because time slowed down. I started making better decisions. There’s a calm that came over me and I got there faster.

[Gino Wickman]

And so to go right to your question, I think it’s the best advice that could be given because it is a terrifying time right now. And God only knows what’s going to happen. This country is going through another evolution as it does, if we look at 1000 years of history. Oh, in this case, 400 years of history. So the point here is to the degree, you can calm yourself down, see your 10-year goal, have a 10-year plan, not in great detail. And so again, I think in 10-year timeframes. And I feel confident in my plan. What that does is it calms me down with the issues I’m facing right now. And so I call it taking action while being patient. And so I know where I’m going to land in 10 years. This project that I’ve taken on is to impact a million entrepreneurs in the making in the next 10 years, while I’m six months into it. Maybe I’ve helped a hundred, holy shit, I’ve got 900 to go.

[Gino Wickman]

So that’s daunting and overwhelming and scary. But the whole point is I know I’m going to get there. And I’m just doing things to get me there. And I’ve been thrown a major curve ball with a pandemic and social unrest. And so it is a wild, and crazy, and scary, and freaky time. And what calms me is that I know where I’m going to land. I know the goal and I just continue to make great decisions within what I can control, all the while making that 10-year goal a reality. So that’s just my humble two cents and how I do it. I don’t have all the answers, but that’s how I do it.

[Josh Kopel]

But through your path, you’ve been exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of entrepreneurs over time. And through that, you’ve been able to distill out common mistakes that entrepreneurs make. Can you walk me through some of those?

[Gino Wickman]

You betcha. So there are actually eight that I captured and coined. I call it the eight critical mistakes. Because what happens is we’ve got 100,000 companies running on EOS, the system I created 20 years ago. And as these clients come to us and as I’ve worked with over 100 of them myself in the last 20 years, they make these classic mistakes when they start their business. And what I realized, because now we’re in the Glimpse portion of the book, to the degree, I can get you to see and understand the mistakes you’re about to make. I believe I can get you to greatly reduce them and maybe even eliminate all of them. Which I was able to do building EOS worldwide because I learned this stuff before I started that business due to the previous business.

[Gino Wickman]

So, I’ll give you a high level pass on what they are at again, a high level. And I would love it if you would just pick one, two or three, knowing your audience best. The one, two or three, that maybe we can do a little deeper dive into that would really help them. But, here are the eight classic critical mistakes entrepreneurs make when they take their entrepreneurial leap and start to build their business.

[Gino Wickman]

Number one is not having a vision. Number two is hiring the wrong people. Number three is not spending time with your people. Number four is not knowing who your customer is. Number five is not charging enough. Number six is not staying true to your core. Number seven is not knowing your numbers. And number eight is not crystallizing roles and responsibilities. So if one or two or three jump out at you, we can dive deep into it if you’d like.

[Josh Kopel]

Absolutely. The two that stick out in my mind are going to be not charging enough and not hiring the right people.

[Gino Wickman]

Love it. Great. All right. So I’m going to flip the order that you just gave them to me in. So, hiring the wrong people. So here’s the classic entrepreneurial mistake. You start your business, you start realizing some level of success, generating revenue, selling whatever you’re selling, you reach capacity, and now you need a body. And so what you do is grab the closest body to you and drag them into your organization, be it your brother, sister, mom, dad, significant other, your neighbor, your cousin, your best friend, and you pull them into your business. And then you get back to work and you grow to capacity again, and you need another body and you grab the closest body to you, throw them in the organization. And so the way this shows up is when our clients come to us with somewhere between 10 and 250 employees, they built this organization where about 20% of their people should not be there.

[Gino Wickman]

And we literally have 20% turnover in the first year with our clients because we’re helping them clean up the messes they made from the past. And people that just don’t fit in the organization and they’re a drag on the organization. And so the most extreme I’ve had is where a client had to get rid of half of their employees, 45 person company. And another one where it’s just 10%. So it’s not always as much as 20%. Sometimes it’s more. Point is this, the way you solve that is when you reach that point where it’s time to bring someone in your organization or the next person, the next person, the next person, number one, make sure they are in alignment with your core values, i.e. your culture. So know your core values and number two, make sure they have the skillset to do the job in the seat that you’re going to put them in. And if you will do that slow hire, quickfire, you’ll be well ahead, much further ahead than most entrepreneurs because you’ll avoid that mistake.

[Gino Wickman]

As for pricing, not charging enough. This is a fun one, because this is a classic mistake. And this is a psychological mistake. This stems from insecurity and lack of confidence. Because most human beings, when it comes time to charge for their wares, they undercharge, they under priced themselves. They don’t see their value as well. And so psychologically they under-priced themselves. And what’s happening in that first year, two or three is they’re literally barely breaking even or losing money. And let’s pretend they’re losing 5% every year. Well, a 10% increase is the difference between losing money and making money. And so you’ve got to increase your prices as a rule of thumb. And there’s two great resources or thoughts I would offer.

[Gino Wickman]

The first is a Ted Talk by Casey Brown. Okay? And so if you search that, she is the queen of pricing and she will teach you to understand the psychological issue, but also how to educate your customers or clients on pricing so that you charge the right amount for yourself. Number two is A Great Discipline by Dan Sullivan, my mentor and coach for 23 years. And that is when it comes to pricing, pick the number that scares you and then add 20%. Okay. It’s pieces of insight that will get you pricing right.

[Josh Kopel]

That’s amazing. You just mentioned resources. Can you think of other entrepreneurial resources?

[Gino Wickman]

Well, read this book. But with that, there are nine free tools that I offer on the website. And so when you talk about resources… I look at this as, if I were sitting one on one with an entrepreneur in the making and they said, “Will you please mentor me?” And I had two years to spend with them and give them everything I’ve got, that’s everything that I’ve put in this book, okay. And so the book is a resource, but what’s important to know is what I’ve done is extrapolated nine tools and resources out of the book that are free and downloadable on the website. And so again, if you go to e-leap.com, you’re going to see these tools. And one example is, if you’re saying you’re thinking that you might be an entrepreneur, I created something called the One, Two, Three Roadmap.

[Gino Wickman]

And it’s just three simple tools that are on the website. Number one is take that assessment, confirm that you are. Number two is fill out MyBiz Match, which will tell you the perfect business for yourself. And number three is called MyVision Clarifier. If you just hunker down and fill that out, you’re going to have a clear vision and plan for your future business. And it will move you to act. That MyVision Clarifier will get you clear on your passion, who your customer is, what your value is to them, what you’re offering them, what your pricing model is all the way down to a 90 day plan. So you go out of their boom, knowing what you need to do for the next 90 days to start your business.

[Gino Wickman]

So those three tools will give you the biggest impact and get you to move. But then there’s six other tools waiting for you there as well, ton of video content. One of the tools is resources, and that’s where I offer the best books I think you should read, the best podcast you should listen to, so ton of resources. It’ll keep you busy for a year if you dive into everything.

[Josh Kopel]

Well, and I’m going to include a link in the show notes. So everyone that’s listening can easily access that. I am going to cut the first two minutes of this interview off where I was just fanboying, talking about how amazing you are… I find your teaching so inspiring, which is why I reached out. But I’m curious to know, who inspires you?

[Gino Wickman]

Oh my God… Who inspires me? So many people. First and foremost, it’s my dad who is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time and an amazing visionary entrepreneur. And I was so blessed to take over and run his company. Me as the integrator, him as the visionary for seven years. So he’s probably my biggest inspiration because it’s the ultimate rags to riches story. Ninth grade dropout, all the way to building an incredible organization.

[Gino Wickman]

Sam Cup was my second mentor and a huge inspiration and teacher of mine. Dan Sullivan, I shared one of my mentors and coaches currently inspires me. I think he, what is he now? He’s 76, 77 years old has got the energy of a 30 year old and it just… He’s still creating and building it’s so darn impressive. So he inspires me. There’s some thought leaders that have inspired me in the last 20 years, Pat Lencioni, Verne Harnish, Jim Collins. These people have really inspired me and kind of shaped some of my thinking. Those are the ones… Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford, who I believe to be probably the greatest leader of the last 100 years. I’m in awe of him. So those are some of the ones that come to mind.

[Josh Kopel]

That’s great. At the conclusion of the show, I like to give every guest the opportunity to talk directly to the audience. Do you have words of advice, encouragement, or anything you’d like to share?

[Gino Wickman]

Oh, that’s nice. We’ve touched on it. And so I just want to maybe put an exclamation point on it. Because my wish for everyone out there is to shift your thinking to 10-year thinking. I think if we can get out of this now, now, now thinking and wanting everything now and this urgency and this pressure, I think there’s such terrible decision making that’s made when you’re in that mode. And to shift to thinking in 10-year timeframes. I mean, if you’re 18 years old out there, on the low side, you have like seven, 10-year timeframes left in your lifetime on the good side. If you’re 60 years old, you have at least two good decades left.

[Gino Wickman]

And so we all have so much time. And so to shift to that kind of thinking, I think you make better decisions for yourself. I think you get to where you want to go faster. I think it creates some peace and happiness. And so that would be one. And I always like to tell people, let your freak flag fly man, free to be yourself. What would you do? And just be yourself and stop apologizing for who you are. And it took me, shit, I think I’m still working on it, but I would say maybe 10 years ago is when I really embraced that. And if I could teach my 18 year old self something, it’d be that. We’re all so damn worried about what everybody thinks. Just be yourself, let your freak flag fly.

[Josh Kopel]

That’s Gino Wickman, author of Traction and Entrepreneurial Leap. To get access to all of the tools and resources he mentioned on the show, visit e-leap.com. If you want to tell us your story, hear previous episodes, check out our video content or read our weekly blog. Go to joshkopel.com. That’s J-O-S-H-K-O-P-E-L.com. Thank you so much for listening to the show. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and while you’re there, please leave us a review. A special thanks to Yelp for helping us spread the word to the whole hospitality community. I’m Josh Kopel. You’ve been listening to Full Comp.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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