How did a boy from Far Rockaway, NY, raised by a single mom and without a college degree, become one of Entrepreneur magazine’s top 100 entrepreneurs in the U.S.? Rainforest Cafe founder Steven Schussler, now the CEO of Schussler Creative, believes his success is linked to his deep understanding of the 5 Ps: Personality, Product, Persistence, People, and Philanthropy.
These five big ideas create the framework for his 28-chapter book, It’s a Jungle in There, published this month by Sterling. Part self-help book, part business-school primer, each chapter begins with an inspirational quote that reflects Schussler’s philosophy of life.
Chapter one, for instance, starts off with this famous quote by poet, dramatist, and literary critic T.S. Eliot: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Each chapter also offers a “self-examination question,” which you’ll find outlined below. While this format is a slight departure from our other Tips for Entrepreneurs, we believe that Schussler’s questions are great food for entrepreneurial thought.
This synopsis is just the appetizer, of course. To enjoy all of Schussler’s delicious and daring insights, you’ll have to read the book, available on amazon.com.
It’s a Jungle in There: Steven Schussler’s 5 Ps of Entrepreneurial Success Watch him on YouTube.
I. PERSONALITY: What makes you a smart business person?
Chapter 1: The role of risk taking. Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?
Chapter 2: The importance of passion. If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?
Chapter 3: Ambition: taking your passions public. Do you desire and seek public recognition for what you have accomplished?
Chapter 4. I dream … therefore I can. Do you enjoy using your imagination to dream up new ideas, products, or services that could generate profits in the marketplace?
Chapter 5. The multi-tasker. Can you comfortably and successfully perform two or more tasks at the same time?
Chapter 6. You’ve learned your ABCs, so now practice your CBAs. Do you have the desire to Create something new; the strength of conviction to Believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to Achieve what is needed to thrust it into the marketplace?
II. PRODUCT: What makes a product or service viable?
Chapter 7. Be Excellent or Be Gone. Are you willing to take the extra time and effort necessary to create a product or service that is excellent rather than acceptable? Remember, when you are out of quality, you are out of business. The noblest search is the search for excellence.
Chapter 8. Sweat the small stuff: It’ll help you earn the big stuff. Do you believe that it’s often the little things that make a big difference between success and failure in business?
Chapter 9. Always be on the lookout for your next big thing. As you observe the world around you, are you making a consistent, conscious effort to ask yourself this question: Is there something here I could change by providing a product or service that would bring me financial gain?
Chapter 10. Research and development — learn it if you want to earn it. Even though it can be costly, are you willing to undertake sufficient R&D in exploring new ideas, products, and services? (If so, check out Schussler’s “11 Commandments for Creating Successful Themed Restaurants,” which is featured in this chapter.)
Chapter 11. Make improvements before and after a launch. Once your creation is in the marketplace, do you look for ways to expand and improve on it?
Chapter 12. Customers won’t buy what they don’t know exists. Is marketing a significant part of your entrepreneurial plan?
Chapter 13. Budget — don’t begrudge it. Do you give proper attention to keeping within budget when completing your projects?
Chapter 14. Don’t be afraid to develop strategic partnerships. When you develop a product or service, do you consider forging strategic alliances with other established businesses to help market and/or sell your creation more successfully? (Check out how Schussler partnered with Maxine Clark, CEO of Build-A-Bear.)
Chapter 15. Marketing yourself to market your product. Do you consider, and take advantage of, the impact you have when selling your idea, product, or service?
III. PERSISTENCE: Don’t let failure stand in the way of achieving your dream.
Chapter 16. Persist and prevail. Do you give up easily, or are you willing to pursue your goals with tenacity and determination?
Chapter 17. No is Yes waiting to happen. Are you the kind of person who will make a concentrated effort to convince somebody they might have made a wrong decision?
Chapter 18. Learn from failure and graduate to success. Can you experience failure and still retain the self-confidence necessary to seek success?
Chapter 19. Be upbeat or beat down. Can you remain generally optimistic, even when things aren’t going your way?
IV. PEOPLE: You can’t do this by yourself.
Chapter 20. Have a caring attitude toward all living things. Do you take active steps to help others achieve their personal goals?
Chapter 21. Make people feel special. When was the last time you did something to make somebody feel special?
Chapter 22. Help others achieve their goals. Are you willing to help other people succeed, even when it’s not a requirement of your job?
Chapter 23. Manage perception for maximum impact. Do you ever behave in a specific manner to influence how another person will perceive you?
Chapter 24. Create positive press. Do you make a concerted effort to establish good media contacts, and use them to generate positive publicity for the work you do?
Chapter 25. Harness the power of trust in transactions. Do you recognize the crucial role trust plays in successful business relationships, and do everything possible to establish and maintain trust with your clients?
Chapter 26. Don’t burn bridges. Just cross them carefully the second time around. Are you willing to give a person a second chance?
V. PHILANTHROPY: Success means giving back.
Chapter 27. Entrepreneurial social responsibility. Do you try to incorporate sustainability and socially responsible practices in your business?
Chapter 28. The importance of entrepreneurial philanthropy. Do you believe it is important to give back some portion of your wealth to support charitable causes? Check out Schussler’s favorite nonprofit here.
For more information:
Visit Schussler Creative at www.schusslercreative.com.
Meet him in person: Schussler will appear at the National Press Club Book Fair on November 9. Buy a ticket here.