Nate Auffort, a professional sales trainer, shares his expertise on how to build wealth and unlock your potential for success.

Nate Auffort, founder and CEO of Strategic Wealth Accumulation Tactics (SWAT Financial) started his sales and marketing career in his early twenties. Having grown up in a large family with not a lot of money, he knew at a young age that he wanted more and to make it on his own. After dropping out of college twice, Auffort attended a seminar about network marketing where he met his mentor who influenced his decision to begin working as a network marketer. However, after four years, he was struggling to make more than $3,000 a month and knew he needed to get on a better path.

He set a goal to close $25,000 in sales in one month, but ended up surpassing it by several thousand dollars. By the end of the year, he was generating $20,000 a month in income, and a year-and-a-half later, he became a millionaire.

Here Auffort reflects on the tactics and mindset that have made him successful in business throughout the years, and offers solutions for business owners on their own journeys to build wealth.

What is the first lesson you learned as a business entrepreneur?

Most of us have everything we need for success, we just don’t have a why. It’s not really about your why because you still have a purpose; it’s about what you need to know, what your burning desire is, what motivates you, and what you need to do to get it done. I learned that destiny is a matter of choice, and no one ever got wealthy doing it by themselves.

What’s the hardest thing to teach yourself to be successful in business?

Discipline. Many people fail in business because they’re not good at self-managing. To be successful, you must set goals for yourself and work as if you’re reporting to your manager. It takes discipline to hold yourself accountable—doing the most productive activity at every moment of each day and only rewarding yourself if your goals have been met. And don’t confuse activity with productivity; activity is a nonproductive time suck, whereas productivity makes you money. If you haven’t met your commitments, you don’t get to receive a paycheck, take the holiday off, or go away on vacation. Also, being disciplined is not just juggling your time between your business and personal life but also being 100 percent present wherever you are and whomever you are with.

What’s the best approach for someone who has never set goals for themselves?

Just start. Set goals for yourself that you believe can be reasonably accomplished on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Establish where you want to go and then figure out how to get there. By holding yourself accountable every day, your confidence will grow as you continue to meet your goals. It’s your choice, you can create or destroy your goals daily.

In an episode of the Stay Paid podcast, you said people have a movie script playing in their head preventing them from achieving their goals. What’s the most common theme? What suggestions can you give on rewriting a script for success?  

Fear, worry, and doubt are always the common denominators but they are usually unwarranted. You cannot rewrite the script if you are continually surrounded by others who make you feel bad about yourself. I believe your subconscious mind is the driver of your car, so before you go to bed at night, protect your brain by exposing it to positive rather than negative thoughts and visualize the things you want to accomplish. I liken the brain to a computer—what you put in it is what it will put out.

To help alleviate your fears, doubts, and worries and gain a broader perspective of them, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Will I be able to live through it? Will it matter ten years from now?
  2. Will it affect anyone outside of my immediate circle?
  3. Is there someone I know who has gone or is going through the same thing or something worse than me?

What do you think is the biggest mistake people make in business that leads to their downfall?

“People quit three feet from gold.” This quote, from Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, references the reasons why people fail in their quest for success—they quit when things get tough and experience temporary defeat. However, if you look at the most successful entrepreneurs, their biggest win or miracle, as I call it, was created during their most challenging period, just before a downfall. My philosophy is that you need to have an attitude of gratitude as you are going through trying times. Rather than just passively moving through them, turn these obstacles into opportunities.

You mentioned the importance of “getting yourself into the room.” Can you explain what you mean by that?

Sure. It’s plain and simple. If you’re going to take the time, energy, and expense to attend large-scale training events or seminars, make sure you surround yourself with the best to learn the most. Look at this opportunity as a business investment and your ticket to pay-to-play. Place yourself in the front of the room where the successful businesspeople and influencers are. Also, approach these events with the attitude “How can I bring value to the people I meet?” “How can I get more customers?” and “What type of value do I want to get out of this?” It doesn’t matter what type of industry you are in because these principles and skills remain the same.

Distraction can prevent someone from achieving their goals. What suggestions do you have to help people who are easily distracted? 

First of all, you never get rid of distraction. It’s around you every day, all day. You just need to push through and ignore it. Being disciplined, as we talked about earlier, can help you stay laser focused and shut out the white noise. If you need to reset, take time to recalibrate and come back with your daily goals in mind.

Nothing is standing in the way of your success. Whether you are a seasoned business owner or just starting out, begin by setting realistic goals, hold yourself accountable to achieve them, and before you go to bed each night, visualize your success—and, as Auffort preaches, always practice an attitude of gratitude.

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