From being a professor to working in finance, Lebanese entrepreneur Marwan Kheireddine has had a dynamic career. While many fellow business executives have sought advice from him, Marwan Kheireddine doesn’t believe in giving guidance; however, he’s open to sharing some of his top tips on how to stay successful.
He’s been involved with some of Lebanon’s most significant financial endeavors, including introducing credit cards to the region and bringing Virgin Megastores there. He’s also been a key player in boosting the careers of Lebanon’s youngest entrepreneurs through YOUTHinc., which helps aspiring entrepreneurs acquire investment capital.
Here are some of his recommendations to keep entrepreneurs on a trajectory to success.
Never Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
“Don’t go into a project that will break your back to the point where you can not rise,” Kheireddine cautions.
While he introduced credit cards to Lebanon, Kheireddine recalls lessons learned while attempting to offer air miles on credit cards more than a decade ago. “Essentially, we thought, you know what, we could create a card where for every dollar spent, you get a mile and you could redeem that mile on any airline, as opposed to one airline, thinking that that would be more competitive,” he says. “We prepared the marketing campaign. We printed the cards, everything was ready.”
Kheireddine soon realized none of his team members had an airline loyalty card. “I was pushing something on my team that no one had experienced. And I said, ‘You know what, we’re scrapping that program because you guys cannot sell something that you have not experienced and do not understand,’” he explains. “And we never went through that program.”
Don’t Take Uncalculated Risks
Kheireddine says he’s taken many risks throughout his career but he’s always done so with careful consideration and a plan in place.
“Take calculated risks, do not take uncalculated risks, but with calculated risks, even if you fail, one success will cover multiple failures,” says Marwan Kheireddine. While the financial expert admits he’s overcome his share of failures, he focuses on his successes. “Keep trying,” he says. “It has worked for me. Now, you need to have, obviously, you need to have the support of your organization, and you need to keep trying, and you need to have the ability to keep trying.”
Tune Out Negative Advice
Kheireddine admits he lost a significant amount of time over the years absorbing negative advice. He suggests removing it from one’s life sooner rather than later. “When you get hit by negative news, take it with a big smile, [and] put it behind you,” he counsels. “If you have clearly defined goals and you keep success as your objective, you will end up making it.”
Kheireddine’s gone through periods of receiving such advice; always looking for the good in situations, he says, is essential. In whatever business environment he’s involved in, he always aims to manifest a culture of positive thinking. “You have no idea how satisfying it is to see that you’ve influenced someone positively and made their life slightly better than it would have been had you not influenced it,” he adds.
Marwan Kheireddine has witnessed firsthand the value of transparency in business and recommends others look for the power in it, too. In fact, 86% of Americans say transparency from companies is more crucial than ever before, as reported by Sprout Social. Forbes also states how transparency can bolster a business’s reputation, inspire investors, and build trust in employees and clientele. According to Kheireddine, a culture of openness is more important than ever before, and can lead to attracting and retaining top talent and growing a business. “The accomplishment that I’m most proud of is being able over the past 30 years to create a culture where performance is what matters and where [there’s] productivity,” he says.
Never Stop Learning
Marwan Kheireddine, who is not only an educator but an active learner, believes learning is a process that must continue throughout one’s career. “In my opinion, you depreciate any degree that you get within five years if you don’t keep nourishing [and] developing your brain,” he concludes.