For years, researchers have been trying to define the personality traits that make a successful entrepreneur and, from all these studies, one important detail has emerged: there is no reliable link between specific personality traits and success in business. Business innovator, coach and Joy of Business facilitator, Maggie Schlarb believes these studies are missing the point about successful entrepreneurs. “It’s not who you are that matters”, she says. “It’s how you choose to approach life.”
According to Maggie, a keen entrepreneur, the key to successful business is adventure.
“Entrepreneurs are the adventurers of the 21stcentury. They are the ones pushing limits, questioning what is possible, cutting new paths forward, and integrating the new and unknown into society”, Maggie explains. “The most successful entrepreneurs are those who treat business as an adventure, and find joy in exploring what lies beyond the horizon.”
Born in small-town Canada, Maggie’s sense of adventure was ignited ten years ago, when a long-term relationship drew her to the wilds of Colorado, USA. Trained in fitness and physical education, she discovered a joy for the outdoors that soon grew into a love of travel and adventure. Ultimately, her desire for exploration led her to New Zealand, where she spent nearly five months cycling the mountainous terrain of the South Island, towing her two-year-old son in a buggy.
It was on this trip, one that spanned over 1240 miles (2000km), that Maggie recognized the similarities between her business enterprises and her love of adventure. “When you are on an adventure, you personally need to be inspired, energized and enthused to make it to your destination. The same is true with business. You are an integral part of your business and you need to capture those adventurous qualities in order for your business to grow.”
According to Maggie, the qualities that are necessary for both adventure and business are:
- Curiosity: Foster an insatiable desire to explore and a yearning to discover what’s around the next corner
- A heightened awareness of your environment and where to be, when: Rather than trying to control the environment, be ‘in the flow’. Be aware of the environment and follow your instincts on how and when to act
- Have a concept of where you’re going, but be flexible: Allow for spontaneous stopovers and detours – these unexpected turn of events can lead to the greatest opportunities
- Self-empowerment: When things get challenging, remember – you chose this
- Determination and a willingness to achieve your vision: Every challenge is a gift in disguise and opens up more possibilities, if you’re willing to see them
- Engaging your body, daily: Moving your body helps with mental focus; it releases pent up stress and energizes, and creates a greater sense of mindfulness
Maggie is quick to admit that not everyone is as adventurous as she is, but her advice to all entrepreneurs is simple. “What’s your style of adventure? Maybe it’s as simple as having a business meeting in a new restaurant. It’s not about how things look”, she advises, “It’s about capturing the sense of adventure and having a willingness to play with what’s possible.”
Maggie Schlarb is a business coach, entrepreneur and global Joy of Business facilitator. After earning her Fitness & Lifestyle Management Degree from George Brown College and Physical Education Degree from Brock University, Maggie moved to Colorado where she launched her first business, Body Soul Journ – a supportive business for those with eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Maggie is a seasoned adventurer – she travelled Europe in a campervan and New Zealand on bicycle – and joyfully applies her sense of adventure to business. A yoga instructor and Nia Black Belt, she has created a range of body-centric businesses. Her latest enterprise assists SMBs through the process of launching products and services, and she helps entrepreneurs from around the world leap courageously into the adventure of business through the Joy of Business program. www.maggieschlarb.com