Tag Archives: Paul Dembow

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Seven Habits of Seven Successful Arizona Entrepreneurs

Everyone wants to know the secrets to succeeding in business. Most agree hard work and intelligence are a given.  But what about those attributes that cannot be taught in school or by working long hours?

Entrepreneurs are a breed who typically embody qualities that make up a successful business person. They tend to be risk-takers, passionate, altruistic and confident. They avoid getting stuck in a rut. Entrepreneurs turn what other see as obstacles in to challenges, and ultimately, opportunities. They are relentlessly positive.

In addition to possessing some of these qualities, entrepreneurs usually have a rule, philosophy or ritual they live and breathe each day. This can be anything from beginning the day in a positive way to how they treat anyone the come into contact with. As an entrepreneur myself, I have learned the importance of working “on” my business and not just “in” the business.  By this I mean you must treat your business like we treat our clients and must make time to focus on our strategic planning and growth.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a leading professional organization designed to offer entrepreneurs additional resources, support and collaboration, has an extremely successful Arizona chapter. Some of our state’s most recognized small business owners are EO Arizona members, ranging from well-known restaurateurs to real estate moguls.

What are their secrets to success? Here is insight from EO Arizona’s most established entrepreneurs (hint: Their habits are less about what you know and more about achieving the right mindset):

Paul Dembow, Arizona Natural Resources, Inc.

I wake up early everyday and meditate for 15 minutes with positive thoughts and deep breathing. I exercise for an hour, then start my business day. I also study, read, research, etc. but the mental attitude that my morning routine gives me is the winning edge. Attitude is everything!

Dan Sager, Civil Search International

If I hold myself 100 percent accountable for all my work/relationship problems, then all issues can be quickly rectified.

Derek Greene, Get Your Move On

The most impactful habit I have practiced is meditation. With this hour of “me” time, I afford myself the time to enjoy a calm cup of coffee, read the news online, do a brain teaser and most importantly sit quietly for 10 to 12 minutes and breathe. I do not miss a day most months and I do the same thing before bed. I find myself, among many other things, as serene as I have ever been in my life.

Max Hansen, Y Scouts and Job Brokers, Inc.

The rule I live by that has been a big contributor toward my success is summed up in a quote by Theodore Roosevelt.  “People don’t care about what you know, until they know about how much you care.”  As with anything in life and business, people follow people they trust and care about them.  Once you genuinely care, you just have to show them and tell them.

Robert Clinkenbeard, Integrated Landscape Management

Discipline is one of my biggest rules in business which also translates into my Ironman training. Unless you have a vision or goal, develop a plan and have the discipline to execute day after day then it is very easy to become distracted, lose focus and not achieve anything. Every year I prepare my business and personal goals for the year ahead and then every month and week I review them and figure out how I am going to execute them.

Steve Levine, Steve LeVine Entertainment

At Steve LeVine Entertainment and Public Relations, we have 2 rules that we use in our office on a daily basis.

1. Never assume anything.  When we assume we are taking a chance to get something wrong. If we never assume, and double check our work, we are less likely to have mistakes and the final product is always better.

2. Take responsibility for your actions. If you know and admit your mistakes, I have found that this helps future mistakes. Also, a client wants to hear us take responsibility rather than pass the blame on to someone else.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Levrose Commercial Real Estate

Over the years, I have learned when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.  When I was younger, I said “yes” to every client or potential business opportunity and soon found that it was impossible to be as effective when trying to please everyone.  Determining where to draw the line between these two responses has allowed much greater focus and clarity.

Every business person is different and their own personal formula for success depends on so much more than one daily ritual or philosophy. But, by using the advice from the above local entrepreneurs as a starting point, you are sure to be on the right path.

 

David Anderson is the communications chair for Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Arizona chapter, a professional group of Arizona’s most successful entrepreneurs. He is also the managing partner and CEO of Off Madison Ave + SpinSix, a marketing and communications firm in Phoenix. 

mentor

Mentor your way to the top

We often hear about success stories that begin with some type of mentorship. Whether it be through a formal program or casual guidance from someone more experienced, thriving entrepreneurs usually can point to someone who coached and encouraged them along the way. Long story short, it ultimately contributed to their success.

For small business owners, a strong mentor relationship is an undeniable necessity. Choosing to venture into entrepreneurship is rewarding, but it comes with handfuls of challenges that only another entrepreneur can understand. For many, having the support system could be the difference between giving up too early and finding a way to flourish. Some of the most widely known benefits of enlisting a mentor include:

  • Gaining better understanding of your industry
  • Growing your professional network
  • Receiving candid and constructive advice

As entrepreneurs – especially those of us who have been doing it for years – it is important that we collaborate with others to share our successes and challenges, and one great way to do that is making yourself available as a mentor. In Arizona, where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, the new generation of entrepreneurs is passionate and eager to grow. These individuals will benefit from hearing what worked for you, what didn’t, how you survived hard times, your advice and support.

Participating in a mentorship program should not be viewed as only a pay-it-forward move toward the younger generation. Many mentors are surprised that they take away several lessons from the relationship that can be applied to their company. For example, if a mentee is fresh out of college, he or she may be able to provide valuable insight into what they’ve learned in school, providing a casual way for the mentor to sharpen his or her skills.

Recognizing the career-boosting value that a mentorship can provide, EO Arizona recently launched a mentorship program that pairs its members – Valley entrepreneurs with businesses generating more than $1 million a year – with Arizona State University and Thunderbird School of Global Management. The first-of-its-kind program here in the Valley provides student entrepreneurs with networking, mentorship, experience sharing, thought leadership, internship, joint events and classroom presentations.

Most importantly, the mentor-mentee relationship ensures entrepreneurs have a trusted network, which I believe is essential to success. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely path, and it is important to find other similar entrepreneurs like the ones I have found through EO Arizona.

 

Paul Dembow is an entrepreneur and school mentorship chair for Entrepreneurs’ Organization Arizona, a dynamic group of 140 of Arizona’s most successful entrepreneurs. To learn more about EO Arizona and its mentorship program, visit www.eoaz.org.