There are some “rules” of business success most entrepreneurs abide by. But many also have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that helped them achieve success. In “Secrets of Success,” a weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum, I ask some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners to share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Jack Delosa, an Australian entrepreneur, investor and BRW (Business Review Weekly) Young Rich List Member. Jack, a university dropout, has founded two multimillion-dollar businesses, MBE Education and The Entourage. Educating entrepreneurs where they are needed most, he contributed to the development of the curriculum at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. He’s also the author of UnProfessional, which tells his success story and reached bestseller status within three weeks of launching.
In 2013, Jack founded The Entourage Foundation, which delivers business education to high schools throughout Australia and is igniting a generation of enterprising young people to drive Australia.
Jack has been listed as one of Australia’s top 10 entrepreneurs under 30 in the Dynamic Business Young Guns and in Smart Company’s “Hot 30Under30.”. He has also been listed four times in Australia’s Anthill’s “30Under30” publication.
You can reach him on Twitter and Instagram @jackdelosa.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Jack Delosa: I always had a natural affinity [with] those individuals throughout history who had made a difference to the planet–whether it be Michelangelo who was a sculptor and painter 500 years ago, Einstein who rewrote physics over 100 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King who led the civil rights movement, or Oprah who puts pieces of light into lounge rooms all around the world.
From as young as I can remember I was always confused by the state of education and how detrimental it is to humanity. In my view, even when I was in primary school I remember thinking how most of school suppresses creativity and one’s individual gifts rather than amplifying them. Because every person in the developed world goes through the education system, I remember dreaming of a world where education enhanced one’s gifts and enabled them to live a life on purpose.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Delosa: Business for me has always been about putting myself in a position where I can change things, where I can make a difference. I initially wanted to be a politician but then I realized it was individuals, not politicians, who make real change and impact the world. People like Warren Buffet who gave the largest charitable donation in history to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, people like Bill and Melinda Gates themselves. Business for me has always been about making the world a better place.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Delosa: Every day is a pivotal moment. Business demands that we become more of ourselves every single day. It is a rigorous and often relentless personal development process that sees us become the absolute best version of ourselves.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Delosa: The best business advice I’ve ever received was from one of my best friends, Peter Davison, seed funder of PayPal. He always pushed me to stop asking the opinion of those who were older than me, but rather tap into the creative innovation that lies within. Einstein was also big on this, learning about history and the current structures so that he could find a better way.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Delosa: Hustle. Entrepreneurship is hard. It takes time. It takes a lot of work. You’ve got to be in it heart and soul if you want to make this your life’s work.
Lesonsky: Do you have a prediction for small business?
Delosa: I think in 2015 business became more purpose driven rather than profit driven. People are no longer simply searching for financial success but rather a higher sense of meaning to doing something that matters. This is good as it is the essence that all great companies are founded on.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Delosa: Conversations With God. It’s not a religious book but a spiritual book. It talks about many of the highest principles of why we’re here, what life is about and our relationship with “God,” whatever form that takes for different people.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Delosa: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.