What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? According to theoretical physics, a paradox. However, in entrepreneurship, there is no such thing as paradoxes or immovable objects. Only unstoppable forces (i.e., entrepreneurs) actively seek new, seemingly indomitable challenges because their entrepreneurial spirit compels them.
They have no issue with risking and sacrificing their time to achieve their goals and bring their vision to life. Still, even though the inner drive is a crucial component of success, Mark Neilson points out that purpose alone isn’t enough. Without a complete package, they won’t even have a shot at getting to the top, let alone stay there.
Mark Neilson is one of the youngest top producers in the history of the entire multi-billion-dollar insurance industry. That title isn’t given and earned that easy, but Neilson made it by closing over 45 million in sales in the past six years. He attributes much of his success to his commitment to lifelong learning.
As Neilson points out, knowledge and skills are what complete the entrepreneur’s package for success. He firmly believes that when a person stops learning, they stop growing. And when they stop growing, all the progress stops. It’s the oldest law of the universe: those who don’t learn, adapt, and evolve are doomed to fail.
“You have only three things in life you can rely on to make money: your brain, your hands, and your mouth,” says Neilson. “So, thinking, speaking, and doing the work. If you don’t know how to use any of those three things, you can’t just hope to succeed. You have to learn how to use those assets to your advantage, but you can’t ever stop. When you stop learning, whatever success you achieved will be gone in a moment.”
Still, having a complete success package is only a start. The life of an entrepreneur is not for faint hearts, and even though rewards can be beyond imagination, the price can be steep. Long days, sleepless nights, and virtually no room for error. Not to mention that an entrepreneur must always have a clear and focused mind to stay on the game.
Mark Neilson’s solution to the said challenge? Proper work-life balance. He explains that most new entrepreneurs try to rush success. They want it so badly and burn so bright with passion, but they often end up in burnout. And he would know as he experienced it on his skin.
“It goes without saying that when you start something new, you must put more time into it to get it down. Building a business from the ground up requires sacrifice,” Neilson says. “I sacrificed a lot when I was new at this business because I wanted to do it fast. But in the end, you must realize that success is a marathon, not a sprint. If you spend all your energy initially, you won’t have enough to push through the years.”
And trying to rush things proved to be Neilson’s downfall on several occasions. It wasn’t anything that would put him or his business under, but in the end, the payout was less than he had invested. With that in mind, he now takes great care of his and his employees’ work-life balance.
“I trained myself and my people to have a balance in life. You can work five or six days a week, but you must take a day off,” says Neilson. “If your goal is to earn X amount of money in the next thirty days, achieve your goal on the last day. Achieving it earlier is okay, but only if it doesn’t break your balance. If you don’t respect your balance, you’ll just be increasing your chances of failing. ”
Nobody is above making mistakes, and Neilson agrees that they are an inevitable part of life. Still, he takes pride in his mistakes and failures. He explains that without them, he wouldn’t be able to learn all the essential lessons he needed to become one of the best performers in the industry. “It’s all a matter of perspective; I see a valuable lesson where others see a mistake. And it all circles back to the continuous learning process,” says Mark Neilson.
“Our every action has a consequence, an outcome. Depending on our skills and knowledge, the outcome is either success or failure,” he adds. “But no matter the outcome, it should always serve as a learning opportunity. If you do something right, take a future note of what to do again. If you fail, you learn what you shouldn’t do again. And take your time; success is supposed to last for a lifetime, not a single day.”
Written in partnership with Luke Linz
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!