There’s a fairly well-known Chinese proverb that goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” It’s a proverb that for good reason is referred to when it comes to entrepreneurial pursuits. Another quote from perhaps a more recognizable and recent source goes: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” This happens to be a quote from the famous Yoda, Jedi Master.
What both of these adages are saying is that deciding to pursue an entrepreneurial avenue – for example, deciding to open one’s own business or online store – is only the first step in a long road. The decision to do something needs to be followed up with action, with actually opening that business or actually creating the website and setting up an online store. Of course, in following any entrepreneurial ambition, there will be risk (there’s plenty of famous quotes about that), plus frustrations and impediments. But, there will also be moments of pride, not to mention opportunities for great success.
How does one succeed when one decides to open a new business? What makes one pursuit a success and another a failure?
Dedication, perseverance, a strong work ethic and business savvy of course all play their parts in channeling a business down the path toward success. But, if you speak to entrepreneurs or businessmen who are experienced in building companies from the ground up, you will notice that it takes more than just the oft-mentioned perseverance and hard work.
Mahmood Michael Amin is a Los Angeles businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He’s the CEO and founder of Primex World Inc., a company that owns and manages a diverse portfolio of assets, including several pistachio and almond farms. Besides founding Primex World Inc. in 1990, Michael Amin also started and developed other companies over the years, including Primex Talking Yellow Pages and Top Attorneys Directory.
“Good thoughts, good deeds, good words”
For Michael Amin, this is his mantra that has accelerated his success in business over the years and this is the focus of his advice to today’s young entrepreneurs.
Michael Amin elaborates, “In the family and culture that I grew up in, we were taught to work hard, be honest, be persistent, and most importantly of all, to help others. So, when I went into business, I took these core values with me and incorporated them in how I ran my businesses. I also tried to incorporate them in the cultures of the companies I formed.”
Adding weight to his statement, Michael Amin adds, “I’ve learned during my years in business that the more I help others and the more good deeds I do, the luckier and more blessed my businesses and I become. It becomes a mutually beneficial circle.”
Jack Nadal, a nationally-recognized entrepreneur and writer, comments on a point that’s very similar to Michael Amin’s, noting in his books that entrepreneurs should make a point of helping others as a way to help themselves. In a Huffington Post article in 2013, Nadal wrote, “In addition to valuable publicity, business philanthropy strengthens community relationships that almost always pay long-term dividends.” Nadal then goes on to write, “ … and finally, business giving is rewarding in itself, and this good feeling can provide a sense of purpose and motivation to any enterprise.”
In many ways, successful entrepreneurship begins and ends with giving back to the community. As a business becomes more successful, it behooves the company and their owners to give back to the communities that helped them succeed.
Returning to Michael Amin, in addition to his efforts at Primex World, Michael Amin is also highly active in his charity, the Maximum Difference Foundation, or MDF. The Maximum Difference Foundation contributes financially to a number of charity organizations each year. Michael Amin’s Foundation also spearheads initiatives designed to motivate parents to learn the art and science of parenting, as well as its MDF Innocence Project, which helps those who have been unfairly treated by the legal system.
Parting on these words, Michael Amin comments, “There’s a joy in building a new company and being a part of its success. That should be a joy for any entrepreneur. But, I get far more pleasure by giving back to the community and contributing to causes that I have a real passion for.”