What It Takes to Be Business Brilliant

Natalie Merrill, Senior Marketing and Communication Writer
January 5, 2016

While many people believe they must be talented at everything they attempt in life in order to be truly successful, research has proven that this is not a reality.

At 1st Global National Conference 2015, Lewis Schiff, author of Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons and executive director of Inc. Business Owners Council, shared his insights on why tactics we believed in the past aren’t necessarily the best means to obtaining wealth. His research concluded that those individuals who have managed to accumulate the most wealth have “business brilliant” mindsets that allow them to excel above those who simply try to master as many skills as possible.

Schiff presented his L-E-A-P concept: Learn what you do best, earn money by doing that, find assistance with everything else, and use persistence to overcome adversity. He compared the success levels of the middle class, the middle-class millionaire, the high net worth individual and the ultra-high net worth individual to illustrate how certain best practices will lead to the greater wealth-making abilities.  

Learn — Discover What’s at Your Center

When people are able to realize that they aren’t going to be exceptionally good at everything they attempt, they can focus on those areas that are their strengths so that they can better hone those skills and reach higher levels of success. Schiff said that focus is one of the secrets to creating more wealth.

“It takes years to figure out what you’re good at,” he said. “The very wealthy have been working on this for a very long time. It takes time and effort.”

By directing their attention to particular specializations, individuals are able to continue to grow in their stronger suits, thus allowing them to eventually make more money in the end. But, Schiff emphasized, people have to be willing to tell themselves not to work on the tasks that they are not exceptionally good at doing. This works both at the institutional level and at the individual level.

“If you’re serious about focusing — if you really want to get at what’s your center — you’re going to have to spend your time doing what you do best, and I want you to think about everything else, from now on, as putting out fires,” Schiff told audience members. “You can actually increase everything about your wealth-making abilities just by focusing.”  

Earn — Maximize Your Opportunity

After asking conference attendees to think about how they make their money, Schiff informed them of four ways wealth is acquired: player pricing (being paid for your time), project pricing (charging for the project), percentage pricing (such as what those in sales are familiar with) and proprietor pricing (owning the business and being as uninvolved in the doing of the business as possible). He said that, in terms of making more money, there’s a huge difference in working on the business versus working in the business.

“If you’re serious about taking a leap in this area, you’re going to become an owner, not a player, and you’re going to look at scalable business models,” Schiff said.  

Assistance — Develop Your Network

You’ve likely heard the saying, “It’s not what you know but who you know.” Schiff says that it’s essential for individuals seeking wealth-making success to know people who know people. He shared with his audience that knowing five or fewer people who are genuinely connected in a manner of what he calls “business intimacy” will be beneficial and result in transitivity (also known as luck). He said the best results come from a network in which there are others who need each other but don’t already know each other.

He cited the example of Steve Jobs, who brought together artists and engineers and had the ability to translate the abilities of engineers to serve artists — and out of that, he created one of the most successful and valuable entities we’ve ever seen. His two networks didn’t know each other, but they needed each other.

“If you don’t think that luck matters to creating significant wealth, you probably haven’t had the right conversations with wealthy people,” Schiff said. “You have to create networks where wealth is created, otherwise it will be very difficult to get to the upper echelon of wealth.”  

Persistence — Have Faith in Failure

Schiff’s final notion for those at National Conference was that failure can actually help people achieve their goals. Failing essentially allows individuals to discover those things that aren’t their strengths so that they can direct their focus elsewhere.

“Failure is actually the most powerful tool to narrowing down your focus,” he said, “because the more you work at things, and the more you fail at things, the fewer things that are left on your list that you think you’re good at — and that’s how you get to the one or two things you’re really good at.”

However, in order for this to occur, people have to be willing to change and adapt to whatever they face. Schiff said that people must endure whatever trials and hardships they face and make changes along the way. “The ability to persist through adversity — because obviously nobody persists through success — is the scarce resource that differentiates people from each other because people give up before the good stuff happens,” he said. “It’s actually hard to be resilient and still persist.”

But it’s that persistence and resilience that help people focus on their strengths, make the most of their opportunities, develop their networks and have faith that their failures will lead to their eventual successes.

For more information, videos and insights from Lewis Schiff, visit www.Business-Brilliant.com.  


Want to read more from 1st Global? Follow us on Twitter @1stGlobal or on LinkedIn. You can also watch videos on the company’s YouTube Channel. Natalie Merrill is a senior marketing communications writer at 1st Global. In this role, she works to connect financial advisors and wealth management assistants with information that will aid them in building thriving and efficient enterprises. 1st Global Capital Corp. is a member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 12750 Merit Drive, Suite 1200 in Dallas, Texas 75251; 214-294-5000. Additional information about 1st Global is available via the Internet at www.1stGlobal.com.