MAJOR KEY ALERT: Keeping an open mind in business and being willing to pivot is key 🔑 followed closely by ‘don’t ever play yourself’…here is why.
I knew that headline would get your attention! DJ Khaled has become famous for telling his followers on Snapchat his ‘major keys’ to success. While he does have some valid points, there is one thing that he didn’t tell you…and that’s to ALWAYS keep an open mind.
In my journey as an entrepreneur I have learned that being willing to change direction if a great opportunity presents itself can be the difference between success and failure. ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’ is one of the most simple yet profound statements that I have ever heard. There have been many instances in my 16 years as an entrepreneur that I thought I had it all figured out until I came across some information that I never heard or an idea that I never considered and my perspective completely changed.
When I started Flat Out of Heels in 2011, the entire business model was focused on vending machines. I did not believe that e-commerce would be an effective route for me to take to sell emergency flats…I was wrong. The pivot in this case was the difference between me staying in business or closing up shop.
In 2013 when investors suggested that I separate the vending machine manufacturing division from Flat Out of Heels and create a new stand alone company, that was honestly something I had never considered. It made sense, so I took their advice andSolutions Vending International was launched as an automated retailing manufacturing company so Flat Out could focus solely on making shoes (pun intended). So far so good, we are making great process and preparing to raise a round of capital to expand.
In 2014, I won the local Tech Cocktail pitch competition in Miami and was invited to travel to Las Vegas to compete in the national TechCo Celebrate Start Up of the Year competition. I placed third and received some great prizes, one of which was a mentoring session with David Cohen, the Founder of Tech Stars. I sat down with David for about 30 minutes and picked his brain. Although Tech Stars did not have any real interest in consumer products (at the time) he gave me an idea that I had never considered — he said investors love companies with recurring revenue models and that I should seriously consider starting a subscription service with Flat Out of Heels. It was a great idea but I was not prepared to execute it at the time. Instead of completely dismissing the idea because it was not a part of my plan, I developed the concept and model for the subscription service and tucked it away until the time was right…the time is NOW.
🔑SURVEY🔑: Do you think a subscription box is a good idea? CLICKHERE to let me know what you think about this idea, I would love your feedback.
Last summer, I contacted the Specialty Leasing Manager at Dadeland Mall to pitch the idea of having Flat Out vending machines in several of the Simon Properties. One of the representatives, Luis Cristobol, called me in for what I thought was a meeting to discuss vending machine placement, but ended up being about something I had never considered. Luis suggested that I develop and launch a program for Flat Out of Heels to allow operators to own and manage a cart selling Flat Outs in malls. I had no clue about specialty retail or doing business with malls but it was a great idea so I pivoted once again and put a plan in motion. This week in Las Vegas after being patient for 7 months, I presented the Flat Out of Heels Mall Cart Program to Simon and the four top mall property owners in the country and they ALL loved it!
Keeping an open mind in business has allowed me to explore options that I never considered. Being stuck on one way to do things or not being flexible with your business plan is a sure way to fail fast and hard. As CEO, my first priority is to do what is best for the company and that means being open to suggestions and change, as my ideas are not always the best (most of the time they are, but not always😁).
So, remember the ‘MAJOR Keys to Success’
- Don’t ever play yourself (play to win, have a plan)
- Stay away from ‘They’ (people who don’t have your best interest in mind)
- Always keep an open mind (be willing to pivot and adapt)
Do you have any more MAJOR keys to share? Please comment below!