The importance of personal brand can’t be overstated, and it’s doubly important when starting your own business. Just ask Ryan Blair, who by the age of 16 had been arrested ten times and spent four years in jail. In 2005, he cofounded ViSalus, an MLM that specializes nutrition and dieting products. There’s surely a lot to be learned from someone who was able to turn a negative past into an asset, start a successful company, and be named by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the year.
A few weeks ago, Blair released his second book Rock Bottom to Rock Star. Inc.’s Justin Bariso recently profiled Blair and his new book, and shared some of his favorite nuggets of Blair’s wisdom. One of the more insightful anecdotes Blair shared highlighted the importance of sticking to your principles and putting employee and investors first. With his company enjoying profitability and success, Blair felt an urge to go public. But even though an IPO would have felt good, he recognized that it was his responsibility to allow the company to be acquired.
He also rhapsodizes on the importance of hyper-awareness within the company. As an entrepreneur, don’t pigeonhole yourself into one branch of the company. Avoid hiring competent managers and executives and washing your hands of their responsibilities. It pays to have your presence felt; you don’t want your team to feel as if you’re never around.
Lastly, Bariso zeroes in on Blair’s belief that the best entrepreneurs are the ones that embrace a growth mindset. Getting too comfortable with your own status quo holds you back, and the moment you truly embrace that risk an entire world of possibilities opens up to you.
The Inc. profile is certainly worth the read, as is his Yahoo interview. Rock Bottom to Rock Star was released on October 4.