Even though we live in the age of technology, there’s one fundamental factor that still remains at the core of every successful business—people. Not just people, but people working together towards a common goal. They say, “Teamwork makes the dream work’, and that’s ever more true for today’s entrepreneur.
Deciding to start your own business is exciting, but who will you build it with? Like Tupac Derenoncourt, most people start out with friends and family. However, make no mistake, this should not be your only criteria for selecting a team for your business.
Tupac is a long time entrepreneur in the field of concert promotion, however he became an independently wealthy, stand out, success story through his direct-selling enterprise, 5Linx. Direct selling is one the most lucrative sales businesses in the world—a documented multi-billion dollar, international industry. It’s built by consistently growing a network of direct salespeople who share a common vision, brick by brick. The bricks are people—a team.
As Tupac puts it, “Your own efforts cannot exceed the leverage of a team of thousands. With a team you can experience breakthrough success that typically takes people 40 years, sometimes generations, to accomplish. ”Therefore, the ability to build a strong team is probably THE most important aspect of building longevity, and increasing transactional capacity in any given business.
Today, Tupac has over 25,000 people nationwide on his team…and counting. When asked how he accomplished this in just four years, he gave a rundown of his team-building strategy:
1 ~Pick the BEST teammates. Tupac’s philosophy on team building is: no family, and no friends, unless they qualify. He used the simple school-yard approach. When you’re looking for teammates for a school-yard game of basketball, you always select the tallest, most skillful, and strongest players possible for your team. He aimed for the high-hanging fruit from the very beginning, in personally selecting his team; because he knew it would become a reality with the right people in place—not everyone qualified. He selected people with strong ambition, solid work ethic, and only those who embraced his vision. Fate would have it that some of those people were actually his friends, and family members. Tupac also went on to add that if you start with low-hanging fruit it’s like building a house on sinking sand.
2 ~ Gel the team. Tupac “casts a big vision” that everyone can grab a hold of, and envision themselves achieving it together as one. This creates an environment of unity, in which everyone is a part of one whole.
3 ~ Set the pace. Tupac believes a team moves at pace of their leader so, you must always lead from the front, not the back. Leading by example includes going above and beyond to achieve the kind of success that will increase your team’s faith in themselves, and their ability to succeed along with their leader. You must set the pace by doing things that your team may not even think they can do, and showing them it’s possible.
4~ he regular team “huddle up”. Tupac and his team “huddle up” 2-3 times a week to communicate team successes, failures, set/review goals, see what worked, and what didn’t, discuss new strategies, and announce new incentives.
5 ~ Be a “Servant Leader”. Building a strong team begins with a servant/leader attitude and leadership style. You must be willing to literally help everyone achieve the goal.
6 ~Humble lions always eat. Tupac believes just because you’re successful, doesn’t mean you have to distastefully mash it in your teams face. As a team leader, evidence of your success should only be used to inspire. This makes you likeable, someone to admire and easy to follow.
Tupac’s earliest influence to become a business owner was his grandmother, Alice Blancharde, who sold homemade pastries locally. As a young boy he accompanied her on deliveries, while she simultaneously baby-sat local children, among other things, to make ends meet. Although she tried to do it all on her own, he witnessed the beauty of multiple streams of income at an early age, and it left a profound mark on his life. However, never did he imagine he’d build, and empower, such a large team of motivated people, with with the opportunity to create multiple streams of income for themselves.
Just this past week, Tupac, a first-generation Haitian-American from Flatbush, Brooklyn, received the keys to his brand new mansion, which he personally designed and had built from the ground up, in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. A Bentley and BMW cars are a couple of the “toys” in his driveway. At just 40 years young, his positive and successful influence has helped many of his team members achieve similar success, such as home ownership, luxury cars, the ability to afford better schooling for their children, and more, which only continues to inspire his entire team across the board.
Tupac has built, and is still building a massively productive direct-selling team. As a result, he’s definitely well on his way to achieving his dreams.
Christine M. Coley is a Brooklyn-based, multi-market business owner in the fields of Real Estate, Public Relations, and Direct Sales. Contact her at [email protected], twitter @chrisintheapple