By: Vincent Ney
I owe my success to Texas.
I’m proud to be born and raised in D’Hanis, Texas, a rural community 20 miles west of San Antonio, established in 1847. It’s also the place where I became the first person in my family to graduate from college, earning a degree from Texas A&M in 1984, and starting my professional career in the ‘big city’ — San Antonio.
Several years and several successful companies later, I have the opportunity to serve as Founder and CEO of a company that has contributed over $300 million to the U.S. economy and that invests in small businesses driving our communities forward. Through the many trials and tribulations, I’ve found there are business skills you can learn, and others that are just a product of who you are and where you come from. There’s no doubt that what sets me apart is this: I’m from Texas.
Here are 5 Business Tips You Can Only Learn in Texas:
- Business Has To Do More: Give BackSuccess is defined not only by profits, but by impact — and ability to give to charities and support programs that serve others. Start with finding one way your business can give back this year. Your profits will thank you later.
- Avoid being ‘All Hat and No Cattle:’ Your Word is EverythingThe expression “All Hat and No Cattle” means a whole lot for us down in Texas. For non-Texans, it translates to someone who speaks highly of themselves, but doesn’t follow through with actions. In short, it’s this: your word is everything, so keep your word.
One solid, clear promise is far better than a handful of empty ones. By building your word, you will earn the trust of others in a genuine way. Keep your word, admit when you’re wrong, and do everything to honor the trust of the people you serve.
- There is Opportunity Everywhere: Keep Your Options Open Because You Never KnowJust ten years ago, no one would have thought that Houston, Texas would be named among the top places to visit in 2019, alongside many of the world’s untapped wonders. They certainly didn’t see its three largest cities — Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas — becoming the economic pillars they are today.
In my 30+ years in business, I’ve seen that often the best opportunities are hidden under a bit of rust. By taking a chance on the unconventional, the same person who lost it all can make it back to the top, just as a tired city or state can find its way back to success. Always keep your eyes and your options open, and don’t underestimate any opportunity.
- Measure distance in hours, not miles: Adapt and ThriveGrowing up in a small Texas town, I learned that getting what you want takes hard work and time. Nothing comes easy in life, and the payoff doesn’t just happen because you want it to.
In a rapidly evolving global environment, failure cannot be a deterrence. In fact, failure is a good thing – it’s the catalyst for new ideas and innovation. Great business leaders must have a long-term vision, but they must also be ready to rewrite the course to get there. In other words, you have to adapt in order to thrive.
- Be a Good Neighbor: Period. In a small town, word travels fast, integrity matters, and who you are is as important as what you do. Being a good neighbor may not always be the most direct path to profit and success, but it’s the most stable one. The difference between a business that is a quick rise and quick fall, and one that becomes a generational staple, is character. And in Texas, good character is an easy thing to find.