On Oscar weekend 2018 I attended the City Summit, founded by Ryan Long, business acceleration experience and Gala where leaders in real estate, marketing, sports and entertainment spoke about their playbooks for success.

On-stage and during one-on-one interviews I came away with four lessons to grow your business from business leaders who are doing big things.

Create A Massive Business Machine By Incentivizing People To Do Well

Encapsulating this concept is Jason Sisneros’ company Anton Jae. His company buys a variety of distressed businesses and helps make them profitable, from janitorial services to animation shops. As Jason explains, the key to success is the gamification of these businesses. People want to win.

“Our core objective is to save as many jobs as possible in the situation. We give employees of that business a direct incentive to succeed with ownership in the company. How do you figure out how to tie their work to their own winning objective, like buying a house, bring a family member in from out of the country, or help a sick family member? If you can meet those objectives at the employee level the company wins and the employees win.

An integral part of incentivizing employees is being a business that wants to do good for their workers and the world. Jason chooses the companies he works with selectively, to ensure that they can both be profitable and make an impact on the world.

We have a line of businesses that want to work with us and we have to know if you are going to do good with that help that we give you. We all know a-holes with money. Are you going to do good? This is how we accelerate doing good. We ask that business owners allocate a portion of their newly freed up time to help us to do good.”

Jason is active in multiple philanthropic causes including Feed A Billion, whose goal it is to end hunger around the world.

Get Rid Of Self Limiting Obstructions (SLOBs)

“SLOBs” is an acronym created by Dr. Freddy Behin, who worked so hard to alleviate his SLOBs, that today he is an accomplished gymnast, author, success coach and medical doctor.

Dr Behin shares that by looking inward instead of outward, we can find the power to eliminate limiting beliefs. Beliefs such as that we are not successful or that we are not enough, even when faced with evidence to the contrary:

If you ask most successful people if they are successful, they will answer that they are not.

SLOBs make us feel like we are not enough. I’m here to say that you are, and you have to capture that.

Dr. Behin highlights how people point outward to explain their problems: “I don’t have money because I was born to a poor family.” Or, “I’m not in good physical shape because my parents were over-weight.” But, if we look inward, we can take responsibility and find solutions:

People pointing away alleviate responsibility to yourself. People who are successful point to themselves, because that’s where the solution is. People told me I couldn’t be a world class gymnast because I had big feet. Gymnasts need lower body weight so they can flip. That’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t strengthen my upper body twice as much somebody else to compensate. I showed up first and was the last one out of the gym. I have to be strong to lift those feet. So, pointing at yourself will allow you to find that solution. Pointing outside is easy, because it’s never your fault.

Become Indispensable

“People do business with people who increase their odds of winning,” says Danelle Delgado. By finding a skill or unique perspective that your business partners lack, you make yourself a key player. Breaking out of the skillsets typical of your industry is hard: You have to work for it.

“Study, read, learn and pay for it. Get that information. Get a mentor. Stop saying I don’t have time, or I don’t have money. Competence will lead to confidence, will lead to opportunities.”

Danelle knows the hard work put in to learning new skills—she has an international business called Life Intended that trains entrepreneurs in the skills they need to succeed. She has made her career helping others find their unique value proposition and how to monetize it.

See Your Success And Affirm Your Future

Jack Canfield, author of best seller Chicken Soup For The Soul shared the research that entrepreneurs are nine times more likely to achieve their goals if they write it down.

You have an inner navigation system, just like Waze and Google Maps. I don’t have to know how to get from here to there anymore, because all I have to do is enter in the destination and the navigation tells me where to go. Your brain works the same way, but you have to put the destination in. This vision tells your brain where to go. This is a visual image of what you want.

If writing down our goal can help so much, why don’t we all do it? Jack explains that we shy away from properly visualizing where we want to be because we think it’s impossible or we get hung up the details of getting there. His advice is to push through:

Don’t worry about the how. Most people won’t set big goals because they don’t know how to do it. The how will show up out of your commitment to the goal. If I commit to having $1MM in the bank, or ending world hunger, or educating people who don’t have access to resources the “how” will come out of that in terms of intuition, books people will recommend to me, or simply connecting with people who can help me with that goal. But, you have to have the image in there and reinforce it until it becomes something that lives inside of you.

The City Summit reinforced that in order to grow a successful business, an entrepreneur must invest in themselves. By building skillsets, setting personal goals, looking inwards, and incentivizing employees to do the same, business leaders succeed.

A completely unexpected part of my journey to launch and operate BrillMedia.co is the mindset and success playbook that I’ve had to develop. It’s an ongoing project. These points above, that I’ve heard in different formats over the years, have helped me. They allow me to overcome doubts about myself, and challenges that come up when business plans are altered. The journey of developing a strong mindset helps me be a better business man, service provider, boss and entrepreneur, and I hope these points help you too.