The Importance of Continual Learning in Entrepreneurship
with Ray Higdon
Not many people would leave their position at the top of their company, comfortable salary, and business reputation to start over completely with a career. To most, that would seem crazy. But if you want to be an entrepreneur, and if you’ve got dreams to run a business for yourself, then it’s a chance that you’ve got to be willing to take.
Take it from Ray Higdon, best-selling author, and social media expert, who discusses his incredible journey on this episode of Making Bank. After climbing the corporate ladder, Ray realized that he was missing out on important things in life. So, he quit his job to be a real estate agent. Facing many hardships and learning many lessons, Ray talks about his journey to entrepreneurship and the importance of moving forward.
Leaving the Corporate World
Ray didn’t start his business journey as an entrepreneur. Rather, he focused on climbing the corporate ladder. “I had worked my up in the corporate world to a pretty high paying salary…[there is] a great book out there called ‘How to Get Rich.’ And [it] says the least likely person to become a successful entrepreneur is the high paid executive,” Ray talks about how those at the top are least likely to take the risk to be an entrepreneur.
When someone is at the top of the business, they’ve got so much to lose. Not only do they have the money that they are making to lose, but they have a reputation and a social status too. Ray was working his way up to his job, working hard and getting paid more. But as he climbed there was more demand for him to do more and more work.
Becoming more involved in his work meant that he had to sacrifice time from other parts of his life – like missing school functions with his sons or canceling family vacations. It built up to the point until it looked like there was no end in sight. Ray didn’t want to live his life like that, so he left the corporate world to go into real estate.
Finding Himself at the Bottom
“So I get into real estate…and you know, no surprise. I did well for a few years until the market crashed. When the market crashed, I was wiped out and I mean emptied my 401k, my IRA, sold my dad’s savings bonds, started selling my furniture, went through a divorce, still ended up in foreclosure, and sleeping on my buddy’s couch.” Ray went from being at the top of the world in business to struggling to find a way to live his day-to-day life.
At this point, no one was hiring. Ray couldn’t pay off his credit cards. He had no idea what he was going to do, and he needed help. Eventually, a friend of his invited Ray to check out a network marketing company. At first, he was hesitant because he didn’t want to have anything to do with the company. He had worked from them before, and it didn’t work out. But there was nothing else that he could do, so he took that chance of trying it again.
“Long story short, I work, work, work until I become the number one income earner of that company. I make millions of dollars with that company…And people started seeing how I was doing it on social media, which nowadays isn’t amazing or shocking. But back then [in 2009] it was because people weren’t doing network marketing on social media.” Back when Ray was thriving in the company, social media tactics were still developing. Ray implemented new strategies and started having companies hire him.
Companies and leaders started to hire him to coach them and teach them everything that Ray knew and everything that worked for him. And so, he started created courses and they took off. Now, since 2016, Ray and his company coach and train mainly network marketers. Sometimes, he works with insurance teams, real estate, authors, speakers, and more.
Moving Forward Imperfectly
Going through these ups and downs throughout his professional and personal life, Ray learned a lot of lessons along the way. “One of the big keys is I consistently move forward imperfectly, and I am by no stretch of the imagination over-thinker. I am not a perfectionist. I am a ‘let me do the best job I possibly can right now to generate results.’’”
When Ray started his program, he noticed that there needed to be a process. This process took a lot of trial and error. The way that he pushed forward and figured out what was best was by getting stuff done and improving it along the way.
This mentality follows him to his everyday life – not just his business ventures. When Ray first started real estate, he had no idea what he was doing. As he continued in trying to sell properties, he learned how to adapt and move forward with learning new skills. You get better at what you’re doing with more and more practice.
Another way that Ray succeeds is through education. Before getting into real estate, the extent of his education was reading real estate books. When the market crashed, he wasn’t educated enough to handle it. Going forward from that, he invests time and money into making sure not only he is educated with the best resources, but that his company is also educated.