Sam Ovens isn’t your typical entrepreneur. He doesn’t have decades of experience in Corporate America and certainly didn’t strike it rich right out of the gates. He’s only 26 years old and has experienced enough failure to last a lifetime – but he’s also experienced more success than most people ever dream about. He’s spent time in both the peaks and the valleys, and he has a handful of lessons to offer the world.

From the Garage to the High-Rise

A college degree isn’t a free ticket to business success. While many people feel like holding a diploma would solve all of their problems, this simply isn’t true. Three months after obtaining his college degree, Ovens had already quit his job and moved into his parent’s garage. He had come to the realization that “working for the man” wasn’t right for him. Instead, he wanted to launch his own business.

Ovens put more than nine months of sweat equity into his new business venture – spending all of his savings in the process – only to watch it flop.  So he started two more businesses – and they both came crashing down.

After his third business venture failed in just a matter of months, Ovens knew it was time to go back to the drawing board. Was it time to go back to a nine-to-five desk job and climb the corporate latter for 30-plus years? Or, could he be honest with himself and finally harness the elusive concept of success?

After some tough weeks of self-reflection, Ovens came face-to-face with his failures, committed to learning and growth, and launched his fourth company: a business consulting firm.

Now, at age 26, just a few short years removed from launching his consulting business, Ovens has produced more than eight figures in revenue. In the process, he’s moved out of his parent’s garage (where so many harsh lessons were learned firsthand) and into a high-rise office.

Instead of saying, “I’ve arrived,” he’s committed himself to helping others learn from his own successes and failures.

Four Lessons You May Need to Hear

When Ovens reflects on his business failures, he discusses the lessons he learned with remarkable honesty. In fact, there’s very little difference between the way he talks about the lessons of failure and the lessons of success (with his current business). To Ovens, they’re all a part of his entrepreneurial journey and represent factors that have led him to where he is today.

As a consultant, Ovens is in the business of providing advice and imparting wisdom – something most 26-year-olds aren’t equipped to do – so he’s got plenty of words for those who will listen.

But when really pressed to hone in on the most important business concepts and truths he’s discovered, Ovens falls back on a few key ideas.

    1. Start With Selling Yourself

A problem many people have is they come up with an idea for a business venture and immediately dive into selling products. And while sales are critically important to business success – and many entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time doing it – you need to start by selling yourself.

“You can learn every sales trick in the book but nothing will ever mask the fact that you don’t believe in your own product or service,” Ovens says. What he means is that you have to sell your prospects the fact that you believe in your product 100 percent before you can expect them to believe in it too.

“You can’t sell anybody what you have if you don’t first convince yourself that it’s an amazing deal,” he believes. While on the surface you may pretend like you believe in your product, it’s time to be honest with yourself and really dig deep. This is the only way to develop a sustainable and profitable business.

  1. Know When to Ask

Ovens believes the world’s most important three-letter word is “ask.” It wasn’t until he grasped this concept that a lot of pieces started to fit together in his career.

“It is amazing what we can achieve in this world if we just ask for what we want,” Ovens explains, “yet so many people sit in the dark waiting for the world to hand things to them.”

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t ask due to fear of rejection or embarrassment, you aren’t alone. Even some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are deathly afraid of being denied, but they take the chance. Once you make asking a habit, it becomes easier and more natural. Eventually, you’ll be so driven by the possibility of being told yes, that you’ll block out the fear of any possible rejection.

  1. Honest Evaluation Pays Dividends

If you’re in a traditional sales job with a large company, you probably have regular quarterly reviews with your manager or sales lead to discuss your performance, analyze past results, and set goals for the next quarter. While you’re the one in charge as the entrepreneur, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t conduct quarterly reviews. In fact, Ovens believes a personal quarterly review plays an important role in personal growth.

 

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Source: Entrepreneur

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