Shad Khan on what it takes to be a real success.
Today I attended a talk featuring Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan. Forbes recently dedicated a cover to him calling him a “great American success story.” It’s truly inspiring to see what he’s accomplished since he came to the United States when he was sixteen. He’s obviously worked hard and made many good choices to attain such a high level of financial success so I was excited to hear what he had to say.
I assumed I would be in for a pretty typical talk about business success. You know work hard, work smart, develop great networks, etc. and YOU TOO can be successful! Instead, I was surprised and pleased to learn that we share similar core business philosophies. When asked what traits a great entrepreneur must have he said any great entrepreneur he’s encountered had two common traits, “…1) they want to make money and 2) they want to make a difference.”
I call this type of entrepreneur a “socialpreneur” and I’m proud to say that my company, Synergy Asset Strategies, was formed out of my desire to do exactly what he said, make money (after all my family can’t live on love alone) and make a difference in the community I hold so dear. I’m by no means alone. Since I founded the Northeast Florida chapter of the Green Chamber of the South a couple of years ago, I’ve discovered that there are many local business owners that share this intent. Still it was encouraging to hear from someone as successful as Mr. Khan that we are on the right track!
He went on to say that a truly great entrepreneur keeps their company “dynamic” and “innovative.” A dynamic company is a company that everyone wants to be a part of. The best example I can think of currently is Google. They have that intangible cool factor that makes it an irresistible draw for the best and the brightest. They prove that we are only as good as our team and given the right tools and motivation that’s pretty darn good.
In addition, he said that these entrepreneurs understand that it takes more than great pay and benefits to attract and retain the best talent, it’s important that they feel they are part of something “special.” This has been proven time and again in studies that show that employees that are engaged in a company’s greater vision and mission are usually happier and more dedicated.
When I realized that this meeting fell on Earth Day, in all honesty I felt a little guilty that I would be spending a large part of my day listening to a talk on how to be a successful entrepreneur, but after I heard Mr. Khan’s talk I realized that I was lucky to be there. His message seemed like it was meant just for me and I came away with a renewed confidence in what I’m trying to accomplish with my firm.
Mr. Khan’s message seemed pretty clear: in order to achieve real success in business or in life one needs to be concerned with creating common good. So be confident in your endeavors fellow socialpreneurs and keep driving forward because our formula is a good one.
Happy Earth Day Socialpreneurs!