This month, we’re sitting down with our new Recruitment Manager, Michael Westerberg, to discuss success in business. Michael has extensive experience in the finance and franchise world; as well as being a teacher, a dual Commonwealth medalist, and the owner of a Taekwondo school. His resume is impressive, and we can’t wait to find out more about his successes, and what motivates him to be such a high achiever.
As everyone knows, being an athlete at an international level takes years of dedication – and a tough mental attitude. It’s the same for running a business. There are days when you want to stay in bed, not reply to emails and ignore those pesky tasks you know you need to do. But at the end of the day, if you don’t do these things, no one else will! To succeed in business, you do have to put in the effort – no matter how hard it seems.
Michael understands this commitment better than most, not just in his sporting career but also by being in a serious car accident that forced him to go through three years of rehabilitation. Committing to show up each day and put in his best effort is something he values highly. Having been at the peak of his profession in the sporting world, to managing the Australian Taekwondo team and starting up a Taekwondo school which went international, we can safely say Michael is not short on motivation or commitment!
So we sat down with Michael to find out what he believes is the secret of success.
FCA: Michael, first of all, welcome to the First Class family!
MW: Thank you, I’m very excited to be joining the First Class Accounts team as Recruitment Manager. The family culture here was evident the moment I walked in the door for the interview. It was obviously a very caring environment, a company that was committed to the success of every franchisee. It was something I wanted to be a part of.
FCA: You’ve worked in the franchise industry for many years; you‘ve seen a lot of people start up their businesses. What can people do to improve their chances of success when starting out?
MW: I believe the best thing people can do is to have the right mindset. Going from being an employee, where someone else is responsible, to being the business owner, where you are responsible, can be, for some, a significant mental challenge. People underestimate the importance of having a business owner mindset and putting in the work that is required to achieve success. Turning up, working hard and not giving up is the key to success in any area of life. Switching your mindset to thinking you can do it, rather than thinking you can’t, is vital.
FCA: So what would be your top five tips for overcoming those initial fears and starting your own business?
- Have courage and go for it.
Don’t allow fear to control your decisions, and don’t live with the regret of never having tried. The only business that is guaranteed to fail is the business you never start. The only client that is guaranteed to say ‘no’ is the client you never ask.
- Embrace the emotional rollercoaster.
Fear of failure or that you may not be good enough is normal and useful. This fear can inspire you to make sure you prepare or make every effort to improve yourself. If you care about your business’s success, don’t be afraid to show it and act on it. On the other side, be enthusiastic about the successes of your business and let them build your confidence but don’t let your successes make you complacent or arrogant. People respond well to genuine, passionate people, and the more you put into your business and yourself, the better chance you have of success. If you care, then you will prepare.
- Surround yourself with a good team of people who are invested in your success.
Every business has its ups and downs. The downs can be scary, but a problem shared is a problem halved. Franchise systems have better rates of success than those that go it alone because they usually have access to people who have done it before and a built-in support system, with a proven model that works. Never be afraid to ask for help or reach out to your mentors.
- Back yourself and get stuck in.
Most businesses that fail do so because they do not do what is required to succeed. Working hard is a prerequisite to accomplishing anything worthwhile, but you must make sure you work hard on the right things. If you want to succeed in anything in life you need to use your fear as an instigator for action and not let it paralyze you into inaction, you have to fight hard for your success. The personal fulfilment of success and the great feeling that follows doesn’t come by doing things which are easy, it comes by defeating that which challenges and stretches us.
- Guard your mindset.
Your attitude can determine your success. Have a positive attitude and surround yourself with people that also have a positive attitude. In life, you tend to get what you focus on. So focus on the positive and focus on being successful.