There is no question that Richard Parkes Cordock is an inspiration.
In his own personal quest to develop his entrepreneurial abilities he interviewed 25 ultra successful millionaire entrepreneurs on everything from the developing the millionaire mindset, right down to dealing with setbacks and disappointment.
Fortunately for all of us, he decided to organise what he learnt into the ground breaking education program called the Millionaire MBA.....
RPC: I knew if I wanted to become successful as an entrepreneur, I needed to understand what made entrepreneurs successful. I could see that the common bond that glues all successful entrepreneurs together was not their business or choice of industry – but the entrepreneur themselves. More specifically it was the way the entrepreneur thought that set them apart.
I knew if I could ‘model’ their ‘millionaire mindset’ - not only would I fast track my own success as an entrepreneur, but I would be able to create a valuable training course which would benefit others.
RPC: In the very first weeks of the idea I actually started working with another friend. It was clear at the outset that we had different ideas on what to develop and shortly after we went our separate ways.
From then on I built the core of the course myself.
After 6 months or so, my wife joined me in the business and I’m glad she did because there is no way I could have created Millionaire MBA without her. I certainly underestimated how much effort it would take to build the course and working with her made me realise the importance of teamwork right from the beginning.
In developing the course I have also relied heavily on external specialists and professionals.
DS: What was the biggest challenge you faced in bringing your idea to fruition? How was it overcome?
RPC: The biggest challenge initially was finding the courage to go it alone. But once I had made the decision and got the momentum moving, the challenges were just part of the journey. I talk of euphoric highs and crushing lows as an entrepreneur - but it is funny looking back - the lows just seem to disappear away, and only the highs remain.
To answer your question though - I did think at the time that ‘creating the course’ was the biggest challenge. But now I am in the sales and marketing stage - I realise that this is the biggest challenge.
The only way to overcome this or any challenge is to educate yourself, surround yourself with other people who can help you reach your goals - and get on and do it!
DS: What makes you most proud of your achievements with Millionaire MBA Ltd?
RPC: I am most proud of the product I have developed. I brought together 25 ultra-successful UK entrepreneurs to build a unique home-study system for other entrepreneurs and business owners.
No one has ever done this before and I am thrilled with the learning and wisdom contained within the course. It makes me very proud when I hear how it has changed the lives of our customers.
DS: How did you actually fund your business to get it off the ground?
RPC: I fortunately had some savings from my previous years working. The year before I started Millionaire MBA I was fired from my job and decided then to go it alone as a management consultant. I was lucky and was immediately asked to manage a project for one year. It paid well and I managed to save some cash.
I must say I was surprised at how expensive it was to build the course and the business – the expense was never ending. Everything takes four times as long and costs four times as much as anticipated. It is probably four times as much fun though.
DS: What attributes make a successful entrepreneur?
RPC: Ah this is my specialist subject, so rather than going into detail here, why don’t I just direct you to www.millionairemba.com. Sign up and download some of the free information!
DS: What do you believe are the necessary elements for a business venture to succeed?
1. An entrepreneur who will make it happen 2. A good commercial idea at a price which people will pay money for 3. Access to a market or access to your prospective customers 4. The right balance of the 4 P’s of marketing 5. Access to a team of people who can make it happen 6. Some money to make it happen (although this should not be a barrier - if your will is there, then the money will follow)
DS: How essential do you see a University education in achieving success as an entrepreneur?
RPC: I personally do not think a university education is necessary at all to be an entrepreneur. I do however think it is a great start in life and would encourage anyone to take this path. If for nothing else - it’s great fun and you make some of your best friends in life there.
DS: What are the three most important lessons you have learned about business and entrepreneurship?
1. Believe in yourself and your product. If I did not believe in what I offered and what I do - I would not continue. The 4’P’s: Price, Product, Promotion and Placement are critical. If you can get the right balance of these (by testing) - then your success will follow.
2. Customer is king. Deliver what your customer wants at a price they will pay. Just because you know what you are offering is great value - your customer may not. Make it easy for them to buy.
3. Never give up. Success is not easy and persistence is crucial. Get the fundamentals right and then go for it - and keep going (testing, refining and tweaking your offer all the way).
DS: What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
1. My first piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to BECOME an entrepreneur. Do not just talk about it - do it. Get out there and start something (even if it is part time). I can guarantee that you will make thousands of mistakes as an entrepreneur - so it is best to get started now. The more mistakes you make - the more you learn, so why wait?
2. My second piece of advice is educate yourself and learn from others who are successful. There are REPEATABLE AND CONSISTENT RULES for success as an entrepreneur - it makes sense to learn them!
DS: What's the number one book you would recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs?
RPC: Think and Grow Rich (written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill) stands out from the rest.
It was this book which inspired me to carry on the work of Napoleon Hill and create Millionaire MBA. I have actually just written a book which will be published in early 2006 and brings together some of the thinking in Think and Grow Rich and Millionaire MBA. As an entrepreneur it would be wrong of me not to mention this book!
DS: What memorable mistakes, if any, have you made in business? What did you learn from them and how can they be avoided?
RPC: The biggest mistake I made was to do an exclusive marketing deal and give up the marketing control of my product. I have now reversed that deal and will never do that again.
What I learned from that is that no one else will be as passionate, driven to succeed or focused on your company’s success as you. People will tell you how great they are and how much success they can create for you – but the only thing that matters is the results they produce.
So the learning from this mistake is keep total control of your business and follow your gut instinct. If you have ANY doubt when taking on a new business partner - walk away! Business is like a marriage - you would never have any doubt about your wife or husband!
DS: What are the best and worst things about being an entrepreneur?
RPC: The best thing is the freedom! Never being told what to do, and not having a boss!
The worst thing - everything rests on you. There is nowhere to hide and mistakes can cost you dearly. But at least you soon know if you are any good at what you do!
DS: Are there any other thoughts, insights, or advice for aspiring entrepreneurs that you'd like to add?
RPC: There is a big picture here which is important to look at. We live for 70-80 years on average. Most of that time is spent working, so we better do something we enjoy!
Most employees do not actually earn enough to become financially independent - compared to most entrepreneurs who do (eventually!).
The skills you develop as an entrepreneur are so wide and varied (and commercial) that they are skills for life.
Whereas most people are focused on working, earning and spending money (not saving, having a pension or preparing for later life), entrepreneurs spend their time creating value, having fun doing it and building a business that will give them financial independence.
I would say to any aspiring entrepreneur - what is it you want to get out of life? If you want a fun rollercoaster of a life and experience true independence - become an entrepreneur. If not - get a job!
Damien Senn is a Life and Business Coach as well as a fully qualified Chartered Accountant. He helps professionals, artists and entrepreneurs create compelling futures.
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