The Fine Line Between Success And Failure Is Positive Mindset
Fred Cary, the man behind IdeaPros, shares valuable insights for individuals putting a foot in the entrepreneurial world
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As a known business professional and top-ranked attorney for several years, Fred Cary is one the most successful business leaders in the new innovations space but it hasn't been an easy ride to the top. Cary, who is now the CEO of IdeaPros, has helped hundreds of brilliant entrepreneurs find their purpose and create their legacy, and he now produces a weekly entrepreneur show that's been viewed by over 5 million people. His official Instagram page, @officialfredcary, inspires over 250,000 people around the world on a daily basis, and he is featured as a judge on the Emmy & Telly Award Winning Show, Everyday Edisons.
Hard work, dedication, helping others, and having the right mindset are the key ingredients that have helped him achieve success and now, after 30 years of entrepreneurship, there's no looking back for Cary.
He started out early in life as a musician, and then ventured off into all sorts of neat roles: concert promoter, food entrepreneur, e-commerce and technology leader, attorney, and even an investment banker, raising billions of dollars for a handful of companies. Three of his companies have gone public, including the most recent, Home Bistro. And one that's still private, Imagine Communications, is doing about $700 million a year in revenue (75 per cent of the world's televisions use its technology).
As a man who doesn't seem to include the word "end" even on the weekend, Cary summed up his personal brand quite clearly during our interview: "Forget average, be legendary."
Keep going and stay positive, even when the going gets tough
"You know, the biggest entrepreneurs in the world, from Thomas Edison, to Henry Ford, to Steve Jobs, all have one thing in common: they've all failed… every one of them has failed. The difference between being a failure and being a successful entrepreneur is having that positive mindset that will put you on the right path forward. You just have to find out which road you want and how to get to that finish line and never give up. It all has to do with mindset; it's everything. If you are somebody struggling in a third world country, or if you are somebody who's on top of your game on Wall Street, we all have that one common thing that we need to have: self-confidence and this comes from having a positive mindset."
There are many ways to harness the power of positive thinking into your business. These include releasing the inner negative energy and removing the habitual skepticism, retraining the brain to see positive patterns and focusing on the silver lining even in negative situations, exploring the full potentials and visualizing positive outcomes, encompassing compassion and gratitude in our everyday lives, integrating meditation and time-offs to avoid obsessive behaviours, cutting out negative influences, surrounding ourselves with optimistic people, acting in good faith, etc. Aligning the current self to future self helps to focus on what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and what can we expect in the future. It brings clarity in thoughts and actions.
Like any entrepreneur, Cary has faced all sorts of challenges in his business and personal life, but you would never know it. He has experienced failures, and yet learned from them and moved on to achieve success.
"I've gone through things that would have people curled up in the closet crying," he laughs.
"My best advice to any entrepreneur is to focus on the things that you can control and let go of the things that you can't control. So, if you're in a personal relationship and things aren't going the way you want, or somebody doesn't appreciate you, and doesn't recognize your value, then move on," he says. "What are you going to do about it? You can't do anything about it. If you're in a business environment where things aren't going the way you want them to go because of the outside world and how it affects that business, you have to let go of that and focus on the part that you can control. My rule of thumb is simple: stick to your own playbook instead of someone else's playbook."
Building a niche
For Fred, when he finds an idea, he knows how to capitalize on it.
How does he do it?
He does it by finding a hole, finding a need, a demand, a niche that's not being served within an industry. Building a niche is important as it provides the power of specialisation in today's competitive world.
Finding a niche isn't an easy task. An entrepreneur has to begin with identifying his/her interests and passions. Then the next step is to identify the problems that can be solved. You can have one-on-one conversations or idea-extraction sessions with the target markets. Perusing forums like Quora and researching keywords can also come in handy. The next step that needs to be done carefully is researching the competition and identifying the gaps in the market. From tapping into the social networks of your competition to taking live feedback from their clients; no stone should be left unturned. Once a clear research has been done and a potential niche has thus been carved, the next step is to determine the profitability of the niche and then finally, you test the idea.
"Don't look for the donut, look for the donut hole. This is how you become a successful entrepreneur because that's what you need to fill to have your place in the world, and to be really significant out there in a competitive business world," he says. "And by the way, the donuts around you will want to acquire you if you fill that hole up well enough."
Launching IdeaPros to help entrepreneurs' dreams come true
It's a known fact that there are well over 500,000 people in the USA that become entrepreneurs every month. With this, Cary took the big leap and unveiled IdeaPros which now has nearly 300 partners. He claims that a partnership with IdeaPros can reduce the time and investment to launch an idea by up to 75%. If an idea qualifies, IdeaPros helps the partner to validate, build and (pre)sell the innovation.
He loosely calls his new business venture as the "entrepreneurship on training wheels with jet fuel" for new inventors who are developing all sorts of products – from apps to cosmetics, and from clothing lines to pet supplies.
You can go to business school and learn how to work for a big company. The education that we learn trains us on how to be an employee, and it trains us how to make money for somebody else. The people that don't want to spend $90,000 a year to go to Harvard but instead want to spend $90,000 to build a business are the ones who are not served at all. "IdeaPros is unique because this whole sector has been unserved. There are really no tools available to help somebody who wants to go on their own. These are the people I am helping and the best thing with my business model is that they get to follow my playbook and then create their own. IdeaPros is giving new entrepreneurs the skillset that will empower them to become innovative business leaders who will have a bright future filling the donut holes that need to be filled."
Cary admits his biggest challenge was starting with his first company and that ignorance of many things forced him to learn them on the street. This meant making many mistakes. Although he did well with many companies, he thinks he could have done better.
For this reason, he offers everything he knows to help others find the guidelines for business success. When one is already a successful entrepreneur, they can simply go out and create more and more companies. However, if someone has worked nine-to-five for others for years and they want to be an entrepreneur, finding the ways to do so is harder. Cary has one purpose in life now: to help others go from the "start line" to the "finish line."
"My goal has been to change the lives of 100,000 people, and to have them change the lives of one thousand, and have those people change the lives of a hundred. That's one billion people. So when I pass on a couple of hundred years from now, on there's thousands of entrepreneurs around the world that say, "you know, that guy changed my life'," says Cary.