Erwin Wils is a mindset and business strategist at Millionaire Life Strategy and he empowers tech experts to boost their business and themselves, transforming them into the person that achieves their ambitions, goals, and beyond.
As a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering by education and certified professional hypnotherapist, master Soulkey therapist, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) practitioner by training, Wils brings 25+ years of experience to show the tech-geeks, nerds, and other left-brained technical experts how they can use their expertise to make a positive impact in the world and make a good living doing it. His favorite quote is from Napoleon Hill: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. Our minds can conceive a lot, but truly believing in it and taking the steps to achieve it, is a true challenge for most people. And that’s where Wils comes in.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Erwin Wils: Have you ever had the feeling that there was more to you than you were actually showing? Well, that was me like 10 years ago. I am an introvert by nature, I thought I couldn’t sell, I was worried about what people thought of me, didn’t like to be in the spotlight. I was raised like most people; do your best at school and get a job. So I did. I graduated from University as a Master of Science in electrical engineering (expertise control engineering) and started to work in the corporate world. I never wanted to promote myself, I wanted my work to speak for itself. I never saw myself as an expert, I knew a lot of everything and considered myself to be a generalist.
A common thread throughout my career was process optimization and every step I took was more towards doing that full-time. Until I realized that you can optimize a process and have all the proof to validate that, yet if the people using the process don’t change, the process itself won’t change. I got interested in the mindset and started specializing in that topic. I became a certified professional hypnotherapist, helped people overcome all kinds of mental challenges for almost 2 years before I started to focus on coaching. And nowadays I empower tech experts to boost their business and themselves, combining my hypnotherapy skills and 20+ years of corporate experience in optimizing processes. I help my clients to become the best versions of themselves, enabling them to achieve their dreams and goals.
On a private note, I am a loving husband and partner for 30+ years (And counting), father of 2 adopted boys, and boss (or servant) of 2 dogs and 1 cat. I just turned 25 for the second time and started my third round.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your view point, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Erwin Wils: That’s a tougher question as you might think. I believe we are all born as entrepreneurs, but due to our growing up, we forget about it. Most of us are “forced” into a straitjacket of “do your best at school, get a degree and get a job” and we follow that frame. Until you find your true passion and want to chase your own dreams. That’s what happened to me. But every child is creative, can solve problems, and has a growth mindset. Very valuable skills for an entrepreneur. So I believe everybody is born as an entrepreneur and can relearn those skills. You just have to want it.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Erwin Wils: As an entrepreneur, I am the eternal student. I keep growing, learning, and challenging myself. I want all my clients to become my next success story, so they get my full attention and dedication. I don’t work, because I love what I do and I get paid for doing that. I believe in cooperation. I’m not in it for the money, I want to add value and money is the result of my added value. I believe entrepreneurs will change the world and if I can make a positive impact in making that happen, it’s all worth it.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Erwin Wils: Millionaire Life Strategy empowers tech experts to boost their business and themselves, transforming them into the person that achieves their ambitions, goals, and beyond. When you start out in the coaching ad consulting business, you have all the tools and skills to help everybody. But if you want to help everybody, you’re not helping anybody, because why should they come to you? You have to specialize yourself. That was quite a quest for me. Especially when you’re starting, because it feels like you’re leaving money on the table. Why exclude people that might pay your bills? But I decided to take on the challenge. Who do I want to serve, which clients energize me? I knew I wanted to focus on entrepreneurs, but which ones?
I started working with different entrepreneurs and my first defined niche was transforming experts into entrepreneurs, because all my clients were experts in their own field, yet they lacked entrepreneurial skills. Even though it was a good start, it was still too broad. When I looked at my existing clients, the majority either were coaches and therapists themselves or had a technical background. And then it clicked. By focusing my attention on technical experts, I could easily integrate my education and corporate experience. It may sound logical to you, but it was a blind spot to me. It was like a natural talent that I didn’t recognize as such. Luckily, I became aware of it and I enjoy it every day.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Erwin Wils: We are in the problem solving business. The client experiences a problem, we have the skills and tools to solve it and the client is willing to pay for it. The bigger the problem we solve, the more they’re willing to pay for it. But it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. IT will take hard work and determination to become successful. Assume that you will fall now and then. And that’s okay. you just have to get up again, learn from the situation, and adjust your efforts accordingly.
Also assume that everybody listens to their favorite radio station WIIFM, What’s In It for Me. Or, in other words, how will I benefit from this. So in order to become successful, tune into their radio station, what’s in it for them. I think those are the 2 most important ones for now.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Erwin Wils: Yes! I assumed that all those self-called gurus had the magic key to success. They made it sound so easy until I realized that all they wanted is for me to become their clone and that doesn’t work. Some might become successful, but the majority won’t. I paid a lot of money for their courses with zero financial results. However, I did learn a lot from it. For instance, when they show big houses and cars, it’s a red flag. when they say “if I can do it, you can certainly do it”, it’s a red flag. Don’t get me wrong, some of them actually succeeded and share the same strategies, but that doesn’t mean you will get the same results. When a master chef shares his award-winning recipe, it doesn’t mean you can cook the same meal.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Erwin Wils: Define your niche. Sell what they want and give what they need. Get clear on what you want to achieve and get a coach to get you there. Those would have accelerated my business immensely. It took me 5 years to realize this, spending a lot of time and money on the wrong trainings and coaching. Especially time you won’t get back. But at least those are valuable lessons I get to share with my clients, so they will save time and money. and 1out of 3 they already got covered when they choose to work with me.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Erwin Wils: “I started out with nothing, and look where I am today. And if I can do it, you can do it too. I’m not that special” followed with “you have to blog/ FB ads/post videos / google ads / build a FB group / do webinars/affiliate marketing / blablabla”. Before you believe them, do some research of your own. Look for referrals, reviews, trust your gut feeling. You can learn from them by focusing on the principles of why they became a success (surprisingly they achieved some level of success) and see how you can apply that in your own business.Definitely stay true to yourself, don’t become their clone.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Erwin Wils: You’re working in a global playfield, your competition is not only local. What hasn’t changed, is constant change. Don’t waste your energy on things you cannot influence, accept the situation and focus on the opportunities. And keep adapting your business. Even when you’re on the right track, if you stand still, you will get run over.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Erwin Wils: A lot of them look on the bright side of entrepreneurship and don’t see the hard work, determination, and perseverance that went into it. What happens is that a few months down the road, they get some setbacks, lose faith and stop their entrepreneurial dream. I would advise them to start with their vision, reverse engineer their strategy, learn from their mistakes, surround themselves with people that will elevate them, and keep on pushing. A winner is just a loser who tried it one more time.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Erwin Wils: I believe you should have clarity about your vision, mission, and core values. In my definition, your vision is where you want to be in the (near) future. Your mission is about the added value you deliver to this world, your reason for existence. It’s what you’re passionate about and drives you. And your core values define what’s important for you and when you’re starting, your core values are the core values of your business. You have to have a growth mindset, the will to keep learning, determination, and perseverance. When you truly believe in your own dreams and take steps to achieve them, you will succeed.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Erwin Wils: It’s a classic, but “think and Grow Rich” from Napoleon Hill is a must-read for every entrepreneur. You also have to manage your money mindset. I recommend either reading “Profit first” from Mike Michalowicz or attending the Millionaire Mind Intensive from T Harv Eker. And listen to podcasts, where entrepreneurs share their secrets and challenges.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Erwin Wils: That’s a tough one. I can’t imagine doing anything else anymore. If I had to make a decision, I think I would love to transform the educational system. I believe the educational system is stuck in the industrial era and needs an update asap. There is little to no attention for entrepreneurship and there is almost no focus on the strengths of the children, only on their weaknesses. Any position that would enable me to change is welcome.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Erwin Wils: It might come as a surprise, but I would love to nominate Oprah. Even though I have never met her, but I think she is a great example for a lot of people, showing that no matter your background, you can become successful. By staying authentic and focusing on the positive, she has made it to the top and I truly admire that.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Erwin Wils for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Erwin Wils or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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