small business tips

By Rieva Lesonsky

Do you still not know what you want to be when you grow up? Then you have something in common with Clate Mask. Mask is the co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft, which provides sales and marketing software for small businesses, and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy.

What can you learn from this successful entrepreneurial innovator?

The sky’s the limit when you own your own business. Mask admits he “never knew” what he wanted to do when he grew up. “I finally decided I just wanted to be successful…at whatever I chose to do,” he says. He started his own business to remove the cap on his earning potential, but also because he saw a hole in the market.

Every small business has a turning point. For Mask, the pivotal moment was the day Infusionsoft began using its software to automatically follow up with leads. “Sales started to happen without me doing a bunch of phone work,” he recalls.

It all starts in the mind. Mask says he lives by this advice: “Thoughts lead to words. Words lead to beliefs. Beliefs lead to actions. Actions lead to habits. Habits lead to goals.”

Marketing matters. Mast says smart entrepreneurs should shift more of their take-home pay to their marketing budget.

Stay positive, no matter what. Citing The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale as his favorite business book, Mask says this quote by Bryant S. Hinckley inspires him: “Cynics don’t contribute. Skeptics don’t create. And doubters don’t achieve.”