The entrepreneur is, in many ways, a jack of all trades. As a business moves from concept through incubation into realization, the CEO must be the visionary, coach, and marketer, all while keeping everyone on track and being up to speed on even the most minute details. It's a task that can overwhelm even the most seasoned of executives.
Tarl Robinson knows the journey well. When he acquired Plexus Worldwide in 2008, he had a lot of vision and was willing to get down in the trenches to make it happen. "In retrospect, it all seems obvious," says Robinson. "But there were a lot of missteps, anxious moments, and a steep learning curve. What made the difference was having an unconventional approach that was flexible and challenged the status quo."
This approach is what Robinson attributes to his success. It's a three-pronged process that entrepreneurs can use to make their businesses relevant and formidable.
- Your Linchpin Is Your Beacon
Plexus Worldwide is science-based and is grounded in gut microbiome health. Its products are diverse, including energy drinks, hydration, immune products, and protein shakes, but they all relate back to the core gut offer â centered around a product regimen named Triplex. Even though Plexus is nutrition, the linchpin theory applies to every company. "As entrepreneurs, we have tons of ideas floating in our heads and it's easy to get lost in our own inner dialogue," says Robinson. "Defining a linchpin concept up front keeps everything focused," Robinson counsels putting it all down on paper and finding cohesion. Act as if you must explain it to a group of shareholders. By justifying your vision, and imbuing it with life and logic, you act as your own objective observer to vet its validity.
- Your Gut Is Telling You Something
"Often we get caught in a sea of other people's ideas, data, and external narratives," says Robinson. "We forget that there's a slew of information that our subconscious is communicating, based on life experience and observing the world at play." This "listen to your gut" approach isn't intuition but rather informed intuition. Robinson suggests taking time every business day where there are no interruptions to allow your brain to absorb the salient points, discard the noise, and distill it into a concept with focus. But make sure that you get that "aha" moment. It's where your subconscious and conscious meet in perfect agreement. That's what Robinson attributes to how he feels the pulse of the future.
- Debate Is Your Best Friend
Entrepreneurs are known for being caught up in the whirlwind of their ideas. Robinson suggests taking a 'disrupt your narrative approach. "If the idea is solid, then debate can only help make it better," comments Robinson. "If it's not, then the diversity of thought will expose its flaws." Robinson insists on surrounding himself with people who are smart, experts in a wide array of fields, and to some degree mavericks. And Robinson advises that when things get heated, you know you're making progress. Just remember that as CEO, it's your job to stay cool headed. "It takes work to hone an idea, but leaders recognize their perspectives need to be challenged."
Tarl Robinson, Plexus Worldwide's Founder and CEO, spearheads the global direct selling company. With a diverse array of categories including gut health, weight management, nutrition, skin, and personal care, Robinson makes certain that Plexus is built upon a solid foundation of scientific research and innovation. Robinson is a firm believer that business and compassion can live together; that ethos is reflected in the supportive environment at Plexus, where community is the driving force for developing superior products.