Since late last year, I’ve been attending a monthly lunch meeting sponsored by Mel Schultz, a prominent Phoenix businessman who, with Jerry Colangelo and David Eaton, owns JDM Partners. Over the years, JDM has built and developed 15 business parks in Arizona and Colorado containing more than 20 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space. The partnership built many of the Phoenix area’s most recognized structures, including Chase Field, US Airways Center, and Comerica Theatre.
On the first Wednesday of each month, Mel brings in a business speaker to talk about a specific topic. Last Wednesday, he spoke himself on the topic of finding success in business.
His points were simple, and you’ve heard them before, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. Among them:
- Set a big goal for yourself. Mel noted that this doesn’t mean finding a cure for cancer or leading the charge on interplanetary travel. He couldn’t do either of those things himself, he said. The goal has to be something that stretches you but is within your capabilities. It can’t be something you can do in your sleep, or you’ll never push yourself forward to new levels and plateaus.
- Change the world for the better. Again, this sounds grandiose, but it really means that one way or another, you enrich people’s lives. Mel’s goals have given people office parks for building their business, stadiums and arenas for enjoying sports teams and resorts to get away and relax. You might give people a novel to enjoy, a training center to develop new job skills, or a new store with unique art to beautify their homes.
- Be persistent. You have to do your homework, plan your work, and follow the plan. You can’t stop when obstacles crop up, and they always will.
- It’s not about the money. Mel said he has never gone into a project thinking that it will make him a boatload of money. Instead, he looks for projects that he will enjoy and that will bring satisfaction to him and utility to others. If all you think about is the money, he said, then you’re always hustling for money-making schemes, and you don’t define who you really are and what you really want to do with your life.
Success in business follows success in life, he said, meaning that the traits that lead to success – among them integrity, respect for others, great curiosity and a desire to learn – are the foundation for every positive achievement we make in life.
Mel closed by noting that in business, relationships are everything. Nothing of lasting value gets done alone; collaboration is key, so it’s important to look for competent people you can trust and confide in.
So what does this mean for you? Choose people you trust to help you find success, and work together with them so you can all be successful in life and in business.