Lisa Colalillo is the founder, producer and star of the online show, “Lisa in the City” and she has also served as a television host for HGTV. Plus, her writing appears in The Huffington Post and other high profile publications. As part of her online show, she interviews a different millionaire each week and looks for patterns as to how each earned his or her first million.
“What I’ve discovered,” she says, “is that the way millionaires think catapults them to success.”
Ingredients of the secret sauce
The first is perseverance. “People may express the concept differently,” Lisa shares, “but they each have a no excuses approach to business. Even when confronted with failure, they still believe that success will happen. Even if someone needs to change his or her path, he or she is still determined to make the business work.”
It’s also important, she adds, to recognize that success isn’t any one single event. Instead, it’s a process. “People tend to think of one big event that defines success and then they imagine that all will line up perfectly after that. But, that’s not what happens,” she says. “Instead, it’s a journey, a squiggly up-and-down line, not a straight one. But, overall, there is a trend of progress and improvement.”
And, when an entrepreneur has the mindset that success is a process, “there is a compound effect. The business keeps getting better and better, with events happening faster and faster.”
When Lisa interviewed one millionaire who made Forbes’ top 30 list of people under the age of 30, he told her that it’s necessary to “jump off a cliff and then build an airplane on the way down” with Lisa adding that “there is no security blanket in entrepreneurship and you need to make something out of it before you go broke.”
Lisa’s own epiphany
When Lisa was fifteen years old, she had a good friend with the same birthday, and they wanted to co-host a sweet sixteen birthday party. The problem was that they were both dead broke. The solution? They planned one anyhow, charging a $10 entrance fee to cover their costs – and they ended up each making a profit of $1,000. “I didn’t host any parties after that,” Lisa says, “but I learned that, if you can offer people what they want, you can earn money, and that was the moment that I realized I liked entrepreneurship.”
Lisa has also made an important distinction about money – that making money and having money are two totally different things. “Some people can generate cash, but it takes a different skill set to keep that money and allow it to grow.”
Although Lisa loves what she does, she doesn’t want to have to work as hard in her later years, so her goal is to create wealth that will continue to make money on its own.
More entrepreneurial tips
Lisa offers more tips, from her own experience and from interviews she’s conducted.
“The more I grow,” she says, “the more my business grows, so education and personal development is important. This can include traditional school, but also talking to other people, networking, participating in mastermind groups, taking self-development courses and otherwise expanding your mind. You should be reading books and taking online courses. The bigger you think, the bigger the strategies you’ve created for your ventures.”
She also references entrepreneur Todd Herman, paraphrasing him as saying that “everyone thinks you need motivation. You don’t need motivation, though. You need momentum. Highly successful people understand the compound effect of putting a plan into motion.”
Lisa also carefully differentiates between a dream and an idea. “A dream is a thought,” she says, “a future thing. An idea, though, takes a dream and puts it into action, making it a today phenomenon, something that is alive today and can gain momentum.”
She also paraphrases Jairik Robbins (son of Tony) as saying that, “If you want to make a million dollars, the focus should not be on the money. If you put too much focus on the money, then you’ll cut costs to increase profits, and so the product and/or service suffers. Instead, to make a million dollars, think about how to help one million people, about a product that could solve a problem for one million people. When you focus on value, not money, you’ll make a lot more than one million dollars.”
Pre-planning also figures prominently when Lisa talks to millionaires. “Lots of people,” she says, “know they should plan their day to be more effective. The difference with millionaires and billionaires, though, is that they plan the night before or the week before. So, when their day starts, they’re already running. That one percent shift in thinking increases their effectiveness. Compound that over days, months and years, and you see what happens.”
She names one final commonality among the successful entrepreneurs she meets – and that is their “fill up and fuel up mentality.” By that she means that they “all seem to have a routine, usually in the morning, to get their minds strong and ready to be super effective. Some work out, while others read or focus on affirmations or meditate, whatever it takes.”
Lisa compares these supercharged entrepreneurs with full pop cans. “If you empty a pop can,” she says, “the can is now weak and even a two-year-old can crush it. If you fill it up, though, cover and shake it, the air becomes pressurized and even the strongest people can’t crush the can. The same is true of our minds. Negative stuff always happens but, if your mind is strong, you can become almost unstoppable. People can’t dent you or affect your day. If you’re not filled up, though, a little thing like being cut off in traffic or a late appointment can affect your effectiveness.”
Finally . . . Lisa’s self-description
“I’m part hustler,” she says, “part visionary and part creative.”
She offers a free five-part video on her site to help entrepreneurs get started.
How about you? How do you describe yourself as an entrepreneur? Leave your description in the comments below.