Armand Peri, is an American executive, entrepreneur, real estate investor, artist and former bodybuilding champion. A first-generation immigrant to the U.S., Armand Peri came to New Jersey when he was 12 years old with thoughts of the “American Dream.” He pursued his dreams not only for business success, but also for artistic pursuits and physical fitness. Here are some of his core tips:


Embrace Artistic Pursuits

Diving passionately into hobbies and artistic outlets provides multiple benefits. These activities function as “stress valves” to help put work aside for an hour or two. They also open the creative side of your mind, so you can then tackle work problems from a new angle. Whether it’s painting or poetry, choose an outlet that interests you and provides you with a needed escape.

Add some challenges to your pursuit. For example, push yourself to enter an art competition, or learn how to play an instrument with a group of musicians. Channel your entrepreneurial spirit into your hobbies to generate new accomplishments and goals. These types of successes will encourage you to tackle difficult work issues or dive confidently into new markets.

Exercise and Carry Yourself with Confidence

Exuding confidence doesn’t mean you kick-in doors and strut into a room like a peacock. However, your physical presence does matter and conveys certain messages. Small business owners must understand their self-image and find ways to curate a dynamic and engaging personality. This means appropriate eye contact and speaking at a confident level.

Physical fitness is also crucial because it not only sharpens the mind and improves memory, it also provides you with more energy. Being fit helps your posture and of course boosts your stamina. Since running a small business takes time and effort, being physically fit allows you to simply accomplish more during the day and work more productively. Try to incorporate fitness into your daily routine, with the understanding that it will pay off both professionally and personally. Take a walk while you consider your business plan. Go paddle boarding to clear your mind before a big meeting.

Understand the Industry

Managing or creating a small business requires a certain knowledge about the given industry, as lack of knowledge could mean disaster. You want to build context and learn how different parts of the industry work together. Get a job in the industry and talk to as many people as possible. Do whatever you need to do. Go to trade shows (even if on your own dime), read the industry publications or sit in on meetings with other departments. Actively listen and learn. For example, if you’re in the software business, then understand coding, security and development. Learn the latest trends such as “agile” and the impact AI and machine learning will have on your business. During all of this learning be sure you understand what customers want and what they’re willing to pay for.

A consistent trait of successful business owners is the ability to spot what other companies are doing wrong. These people see a “better way” to sell/market/partner because they’ve seen firsthand the failings of other companies. During your time working for another company you should also be searching for opportunities. Think about their shortcomings. Does the company lack insights into customer behavior? Are they behind-the-times in terms of technology? What can you do better? And most, importantly how can you create a business to fill these needs? 

Define Goals

When speaking to entrepreneurs, Armand tells them to clearly define what they want, both in terms of the meaning of “success” and their specific business ideas. He says the focus is not on making piles of money, but instead on exerting a measure of control over one’s life and having financial freedom.

Set goals for both your personal life and hobbies, as well as the business. Make them concrete and ambitious but also attainable. The goal shouldn’t necessarily be something like “become super rich,” but instead detail steps along the way. Set goals for the business such as “building up to 100,000 social media followers” or “triple current monthly orders by the holidays.” Hold yourself accountable to the goals by performing frequent self-check-ins that allow you to see progress and to see areas of possible improvement.