To succeed as an entrepreneur: surround yourself with support
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Once you have your vision of what you want your business to be, how do you get started? I am often asked this question and my answer is clear-cut and straightforward, yet it requires a tremendous amount of perseverance and work – surround yourself with great teams who truly believe in you, see your vision, and want you to succeed.
Once I bought the Harley-Davidson dealership in Belton, I knew I wanted something much bigger at another location. I wanted to create a destination, a 55,000 square-foot, 10-acre biker’s Disneyland yet a place for everyone – whether they rode or not – to simply come, hang out, and have fun! There were many people who thought I was crazy for not only having the vision, but for setting what they perceived was an impossible goal. It wasn’t a lofty goal for me; I trusted my instincts and followed my heart! Needless to say, there were a multitude of bankers, accountants, architects, builders, and attorneys who didn’t “see” my vision. I had to keep searching, staying positive and focused, knowing I would eventually connect with the ones who did believe in me. And I did. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t immediate, but eventually I formed the most incredible team of professionals. They not only believed in me, they truly saw that bright star I was focusing on way out in the distance. Those are the kinds of team members that are most important when starting a business. They must both believe in you and see your vision.
Once you have your business started, your new team is the group that will help you succeed. They, too, must believe in you and see your vision. Even though I continually educate myself on business strategies and Harley-Davidson in particular, I know I need an entire team to help me succeed. I surrounded myself with key players who were experts in their fields. I don’t have to know every detail about servicing a bike, for instance, but they do. And, sometimes it takes time to find those individuals and get them on board. It took me nearly 3 years to convince our executive director to join the team. I also believe people rise to the level of their expectations. My team sees that star in the distance and they want to reach it just as much as I do. We are striving together, ever single member of the Gail’s Harley-Davidson team. You can have the brightest, most hard-working team, but if they don’t see what you see, you won’t make it to the next level. And, if you don’t point out the star in the distance to them, they can’t help you find it.
No matter how big or small your business is, whether you’re in the beginning stages of creating a business or part of a well-established company, forming strong teams is essential. The key to success with forming and establishing strong teams is that they believe in you, see your vision and want you to succeed.
Gail Worth is president and owner of Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview, Missouri. She purchased the dealership in 2000, becoming one of the few female Harley-Davidson dealership owners in the country. The business is privately owned and is recognized as a top dealership in the country and the largest Harley-Davidson dealership in the Midwest.
Gail has compiled a host of coveted awards locally and her dealership has earned numerous prestigious awards from Harley-Davidson and Buell Motor Companies. Gail is also an accomplished speaker, and she is actively involved in civic groups and chairities.
By Alan L. Carsrud and Malin E. Brännback
Starting a Successful Business: Start Up and Grow Your Own Company
By Michael Morris
Find more books on entrepreneurship at the library.