6. Be a judicious risk-taker. This doesn't mean taking stupid chances, just daring ones, with potentially incredible outcomes. For example, several decades ago, before he started publishing The Robb Report, White was a college student with some extra money. Instead of investing it in stocks or having a beer bash, White, a Rolls-Royce enthusiast, bought two "junkers." He cleaned them up, sold them and bought more Rolls--and sold those. At one point, he traded his house for a Rolls "because the car was worth more than the house. And then I drove off into the sunset, without a place to sleep."
Although White took risks (he didn't know if he could sell his junkers, but he had ideas of how he would), he always had a plan. "You never fire a gun without a target," says White. And while we don't suggest you'll necessarily have the resources to do exactly what White did, there's still a lesson here: "Spend time on your plan. You have to make sure that plan is going to work."
7. Stay on the cutting edge of technology. This advice comes from Waschka, who is thinking beyond having a talking, singing and dancing Web page. He's referring to using technology to replace an extra employee, or simply to appear to the public like you know what you're doing.
White agrees, going a little further: "Don't only stay on it--but a step ahead of it." Most of you already know where he's coming from, but for the slow ones out there, we'll let White give an example. "So many high-tech, high-speed things are happening internationally, to me, the cutting edge is to be able to market in a split second to China or Japan or any place in the world," says White. "We're working on our site so it can be read in 47 different languages. And, of course, when you're selling something, you really don't care where the money's coming from. The truth is, we're probably expanding more rapidly overseas than we are in this country."
But McGeoy, ever the pragmatist, has a warning: "Be on the leading edge--not the bleeding edge." Cute, but what does it mean? "Sometimes, people are pushing so hard to become the latest and greatest, [the push] becomes more important than focusing on your core. There are hundreds and hundreds of failures to every success. How do you know that the leading edge you're attaching yourself to will succeed?"
Staying with the times is important, McGeoy agrees, "but you need to think carefully, ask yourself, `What is this tool, really, and how is this helping my business to get better?' "
8. Become a brand name. This suggestion comes from Jason Hartman, a 34-year-old millionaire from Southern California who has conveniently written Become the Brand of Choice: How to Earn Millions Through Relationship Marketing (Lifestyles Press, $16.95, http://www.brandofchoice.com).
"When you're a brand, it enables business to chase you, instead of you always having to chase after business," says Hartman. Keep in mind, becoming a brand name doesn't mean you have to have a company on the scale or popularity of a Pizza Hut or Home Depot.
Hartman, for instance, isn't known at all in Peoria or Pakistan, but homeowners in Orange County are likely familiar with the real estate tycoon. That's because Hartman built what he calls a "perceived relationship." In other words, customers like him and feel comfortable with him, like they know and understand him.
You, too, can build a perceived relationship. Offer to write business-related articles for your local paper, suggests Hartman, who himself appears in real estate columns in the Orange County Business Journal. Talk about your business with local Kiwanis, Jaycees, Lions and other service-oriented clubs. Give the public free seminars that relate to your business. That'll help you get your name out there. Try all that--or change your last name to Burger King and hope for the best.
9. Be passionate in what you do. "Since there's so much competition out there, you've got to set yourself up to be excellent at what you do. It's almost impossible to be excellent if you're not passionate about it," says Waschka. "Otherwise, you'll just get your butt kicked. There's always going to be somebody out there who's going to be passionate about what they do. Passion creates a level of tenacity, a stick-to-itiveness . . . it's almost like a magical force."
But there's another type of useful passion: hatred--that is, getting so frustrated with a certain kind of situation that you must solve the problem. Kiyosaki explores this concept in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. For instance, you love your travel agency but hate how airports treat travelers. How can you change that?
10. Never give up. In case you don't get it, look to Ron Goldie. "Whether they know it or not, my clients, who are worth between $10 million and $1 billion each, follow Winston Churchill's advice: "Never give up, never give up, never give up." All my clients have, at one time or another, been separated from a major portion of their wealth, but they all had the tenacity and sheer strength of entrepreneurial will to make more at the end of the game than what they went in with."
Brian Koslow, http2.com/millionaire.com
Millionaire.com Inc., (843) 757-6600, http://www.millionaire.com
Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, (310) 312-2000, http://www.msk.com
Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.