Inspiring Success

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Chris Gray

When was the last time a billionaire shared an idea with you?

If you want to be a successful millionaire, then a great start is to hang around other successful millionaires.

As it’s often said - your wealth is the average of that of your ten closest friends. Likewise, if you want to develop creative ideas for your business it makes sense to associate with other entrepreneurs who have transformed simple ideas into successful businesses.

For me, that’s what the Entrepreneurs’ Organization network provides - a dynamic web of more than 10,000 successful business owners from 42 countries around the world.

All with a thirst for collaboration and learning. Opportunities abound.

In Sydney alone, EO members last year generated more $2.6 billion in revenue making them huge drivers of economic growth, significant employment generators, and leaders in Australian business innovation.

Across Australia and New Zealand, EO members and their companies are responsible for annual revenue of more than $8.5 billion – equalling that of the 45th largest company on the ASX.

However, it can be challenging – even isolating - being an entrepreneur. When you’re an entrepreneur and your friends are employees - working for the man from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, being limited to 4 weeks’ holiday with little spare time and money - how can you get creative input from them?

However, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s alternative would be chewing the fat on a boat for the day with 15 other like-minded entrepreneurs, or going to an event with and listening to Buzz Aldrin (first man on the moon) or Alan Joyce (Qantas), or having a forum meeting with 8 successful business leaders from 8 other countries whilst surrounded by Komodo dragons on Komodo Island. Inspiring, invigorating conversations ensue.  Creativity flows. Ideas turn into actions.

It’s not about networking or doing business together, it’s about peer to peer learning. You only share experiences if you’ve personally been through something similar before and you can’t offer advice. Imagine the creative ideas that might flow when surrounded by successful people from different backgrounds in different industries and from all around the world.

I’m a property investor and I’m surrounded by others in the same industry with the same mindset. So when I was in Haikou, China a couple of years ago with my EO International Forum and raised the issue of funding difficulties in Australia, one experience was shared and an idea gained through speaking to a entrepreneurial (different mindset) share trader (opposite industry) from Dallas (opposite country and opposite background). The success of that ideas remains one of the personal highlights of my career.

In the 6 years that I’ve been with EO, 75% of the people I am now friends with have changed from employees to entrepreneurs. I now travel 10-15 times a year overseas and to countries and places I’d previously never even heard of. I have so many ideas I can’t imagine I’ll ever find the time to implement them all.

While I turn over a few million a year, some of the people I’ve met turnover in the hundreds of millions or even billions. Yet in EO we are all equal and there is no judgement.

When was the last time a billionaire shared an idea with you? 

Chris Gray is an expert in entrepreneurship. Chris is presenting at Championing the Entrepreneurs' Journey on Monday 29 May as part of Vivid Ideas.