When he was 16, Patrick Leroux contemplated suicide after he cost his hockey team an important game and was humiliated by his coach in front of his teammates.
But rather than take the “easy way” out, the painfully self-conscious teen decided instead to learn about and emulate successful people — from athletes to actors. He discovered common characteristics and habits, and began incorporating these into his own life.
“I learned about loving what you do,” Leroux told an audience in Red Deer on Wednesday. “I learned if you want to succeed in life, you’ve got to stop waiting for your pension and start doing what you love the most.”
His other revelations included the importance of learning more to earn more, and of assuming responsibility for himself.
The Quebec native went on to become a successful businessman in a variety of pursuits.
“I have 17 streams of income, 17 businesses,” said Leroux, who’s also a business coach, public speaker and bestselling author of nine books.
Presenting at Farm Credit Canada’s annual forum in Red Deer, he offered some insights into how to achieve business and personal success.
For one thing, said Leroux, it’s important to have clarity of vision. He recommended having clear written goals — something fewer than three per cent of people actually do.
“You have to have a life plan.”
To help achieve those goals, develop a sense of gratitude for the positive things you do have, he suggested. Start and end every day by reminding yourself of these, and positive energy will result, insisted Leroux.
“Don’t just say it, feel it.”
He’s also a proponent of visualization. This entails making a list of the things you want to achieve and documenting them.
“Why earn money if you have no idea what you’re gong to do with that money? You have to give yourself reason.”
Leroux also urged those listening to him to practise positive affirmation: reminding themselves every morning and night what it is they want to achieve.
“If twice a day, 365 times a year, you read out your positive affirmation, do you think it’s going to give you an edge on the 97 per cent of the population who do not have goals? You bet.
“If you’re very clear about that vision and you’re persistent and you believe it’s going to happen, then it will happen.”
One strategy for achieving business success is to give your customers memorable experiences, said Leroux. He related his own experiences of a cruise line he once used sending him a birthday greeting, a hotel he stayed at where he found in his room a personalized greeting in drizzled chocolate on a plate, and a client that reserved for him a parking place with his name on it.
These types of actions create customer loyalty, which is more important than just customer satisfaction, said Leroux.
“Think about all of your customer touch points and how you can be different and unique,” he advised. “If you do, you’ll have success.”
Leroux also commented on the law of reciprocity, and how those who give more to their customers and employees typically get more in return.
The challenge for many, he said, is stepping out of your comfort zone to try new things,
“You have to tolerate what’s uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable,” he said, pointing out that most people need to do something new for 21 to 66 days before it becomes a habit.
The other speakers at Wednesday’s FCC forum were Olympic gold medalist rower Adam Kreek, and famed author and Dragons’ Den angel investor David Chilton.