Studies show that around 90% of new entrepreneurial ventures end up failing. While it’s inspiring to see the next generation of entrepreneurs enter the business world, they face more competition now than ever.


When I decided to take the path into entrepreneurship in my youth, I could only imagine that at this point in my life, I’d own 70 companies in eight different industries. Now that I’ve achieved it, I know that I had the desire deep down to not only succeed, but to be the very best at what I did. That’s why my achievements feel not only believable, but natural. Accomplishing my goals beyond expectations is what sets me apart from my competitors. It is what continues to help me reach the ultimate rewards, both professionally and personally.


Being the best is not only advantageous, but necessary in order to reach your full potential. My attitude has always been that if you can’t be the best, why do it at all? Original ideas that stick are much better than replicating others that already exist, or worse, creating something that is mediocre. In most industries, originality and top quality mean the difference between success and failure.


Being the best in your field takes several factors. How can you do it?


First, have the right team. I wouldn’t be able to be the best at what I do while being spread thinly over 70 companies. Hire the best people and invest in them both professionally and personally. This way, they will not only perform well in their roles but will be more likely to stay with your company long-term.


Second, have organizational structures in place that keep your mission alive. When you make a mistake (which inevitably, you will), make it easy to correct immediately. Correcting missteps and always improving are keys to staying at the top of your game.


Third, manage your time effectively. When you have control over your time in the right ways, you can always put your family first. Rarely have I missed an important event in my family’s lives. Now, my family is becoming involved in my businesses and part of the vision I had all those years ago.


Finally, create the very best products. A prime example is how I’ve invested in the notoriously competitive restaurant business. I decided that if I wanted to own a fried chicken eatery in St. Louis, it should be the very best in the city. For three years in a row, Sauce Magazine voted Byrd and Barrel as the very best fried chicken in St. Louis. Similarly, Tamm Avenue Bar has been voted the best neighborhood bar in the Dogtown area of St. Louis. Mac’s has been voted the best burger in St. Louis. We are successful because we are ready to compete against the best and have our products meet the highest standards. The customer and media feedback solidifies it.


In a cutthroat market, it is easy to see who will succeed and who will change course. Those who made headway in the corporate world, in any capacity, have the desire and ability to be the very best at what they do, and nothing less.