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Entrepreneur Insights from an International Model

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Nov 14, 2011
Boulder, Colorado
So you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. The next Gary Vaynerchuk. The next Tim Ferriss.

You want to be this millionaire entrepreneur who drives exotic sports cars, lives in large houses, has the freedom to travel the world, and to live this luxurious lifestyle that you see on the cover of magazines.

But what does it take to actually get there?

What is the difference between the entrepreneurs who actually make it to this level and the ones who get left behind? It wasn't until I spent a few weeks traveling along the southern coast of Spain before I discovered the answer. By a stroke of luck, as I take a seat inside of an Arabic tea shop, I find myself wrapped up in conversation with up-and-coming international supermodel Iga Liszkowska.

It was through these conversations with Iga where I learned that there are a lot of similarities between having success in the modeling world and having success in entrepreneurship. Through our time together, we began drawing a lot of similarities between our journeys, which we decided to put together in helping those who are just getting started and have these dreams of something more.

Business Lessons from an International Supermodel
What It Takes to Get Started On Your Journey

Outward Appearances of Success

When we first get interested in entrepreneurship, we see all these people living the dream life. With their outward displays of wealth, we see them where they are now. But we never get to fully understand what it takes to get there until we hear their stories. When you first embark on this journey into the business world, everything looks so easy for other people. You never get to see their struggle...

On the outside, Iga is living the dream.

When the bitter-cold winter rolls into her homeland of Eastern Europe, she is traveling to exotic beachfront paradises for photoshoots, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, and truly living in the lap of luxury. You see her featured in magazines, partying on yachts and nightclubs all across the globe, and she has the privilege to choose the places and people she works with.


When you see this glimpse of the dream life on social media and all across the internet, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Most people only see the results. What you don't see is what goes on behind the scenes and the journey it takes to get to the destination.

Taking a Look Behind The Scenes

What you're about to experience is a real-life behind the scenes view of how to become successful in the not just modeling, but how to become successful in any industry. By learning from her stories about dealing with loneliness, struggling with false-promises from agents who just wanted to use her, problems with self-esteem, rejection by friends and family members; you're about to get a whole new understanding behind the phrase self-made success really entails.

Whether your chosen path is modeling, sports, business, or whatever path you are walking:

The lessons you'll learn from Iga's journey to success will share some similarities to the struggles you are going through in your life now. It is our hopes that sharing Iga's story with you will provide with the inspiration and insights to succeed.

Stage 1 of Your Journey:
You Weren't Born Into Wealth

The journey to your dreams always begins from humble beginnings. You see all these people who have 'made it' and you don't think it's possible for you. When you have a dream, others try to resist you and hold you back.

The only question is...will you listen to them?

Mogilno, Poland | 1990's | A Dream is Born

Growing up in the small town of Mogilno, Poland, Iga was often mocked and ridiculed by friends and family members when she said she had dreams of being a famous model. When this dream began, everyone in her life told her that she was never going to succeed in this journey she dreamed of embarking on.

Older generations were born into a world where they value the safety and security of living an ordinary life. Her mother told her to work in the family restaurant over the summers, studying in school, and eventually to become a teacher.

By choosing the life others set out for her, she would be settling for less.

"I don't know why people say being a teacher is a dream job." Iga said to me, confused how people are advising her to settle for less, "After school, as a woman, I would be expected to work as a teacher, get married, have a kid, and take out a 30-year mortgage which I'll have to pay off for the rest of my life. This would leave me trapped."

Before taking this leap into modeling, family, boyfriends, and friends alike called her crazy. They were unsupportive and it did nothing except hold her back. Despite not knowing where this journey would lead her, and everything outside of her screaming that she can't make it, she decided to take the leap anyway.

...because that is the life she chooses to live.

It was through this stage of her journey where she learned the value to go against the grain and develop the self-confidence to move forward with her dreams, despite any outside adversity.

Lead not with your words, but through your actions - It wasn't until after she developed the bravery and took this leap into the unknown before unsupportive friends and boyfriends faded away and she began attracting new, more supportive people into her life. Eventually, after she actually began having some success, her mother began supporting her ambitions.

I guess the people you're trying to convince have to see it to believe it.

To rise up in this world, you're going to have to learn how to break free from the ordinary environment you were born into and develop the confidence and bravery to take this leap into the life you want to live.

Especially in the face of obstacles and outside adversity. Because we all know what your life will be like in ten years certainly happen if you don't take that leap...and that's a scary thought.

Stage 2 of Your Journey:
Leave the Ordinary Life Behind
In his best-selling book The Millionaire Fastlane, MJ labels this "The Desert of Desertion".

When you break free from this ordinary world you were born into and strive for greatness, you face this long harsh and lonely desert. While most people who take these first steps go running back, it is the commitment to the long journey, the hard work, and doing whatever it takes which allow you to reach the riches that are surely waiting for you on the other side.

"It was heartbreaking when my friends were going on holidays or having fun while I was working for 12 hours every day as a cleaning lady and a waitress to make ends meet." Iga said to me as she reflected back on on her early years.

When you first decide that you want to be successful, you will be tempted by all of the fun and exciting things, running back from that desert and into the ordinary world that most people remain born into. Short holidays, fun on the weekends, and never doing what it takes to break free to the other side are the very traps which hold you back from the life you dream of living.

"Life is about choices. Now I am used to hard work and discipline. This struggle I pushed through really helps when I have to work 12 hours per day, everyday (photoshoots, castings, fittings) and after all of this, I go to the gym to keep fit. " she said to me.

From my experience in business and Iga's experience in the fashion industry, we both noticed the dip. This is the stage of her journey where we both decided to work for free. With unpaid photoshoots or the hundreds of clients I've helped before charging my first dollar, it is this stage of our journey where we learned that the immediate success that is often promised to us is nothing more than illusion.

It is by continuing to push forward when you don't see any results on the outside which gets you through the desert and into the promised land

While many girls dream of the luxurious life of a being a model, they never expect the dip or the long lonely walk through the desert to get there. They turn around and give up, discouraging others who want to walk behind them, saying it's not possible.

And the sad part is these other people who have these dreams believe them...

Stage 3 of Your Journey:
Avoid The Common Pitfalls & False Mentors
"In the modeling world, you have to be careful who you work with and who you take on as a mentor." Iga began to explain to me, "There are all these agents out there who are just wanting to use these young girls for money. They start off with all these great promises such as turning you into 'the next Naomi Campbell', or getting you in popular fashion shows in New York and Paris.

I once flew into another country with the promise of getting a modeling job and it turned out that he was trying to get me to work for his escort service. In other instances, these agents are making hundreds of thousands of dollars from models while the girls wind up getting nothing.

After a few years, they were told to drop out of school, to lose a lot of weight, and they wind up being in their mid twenties without a job, with no education, and facing serious health problems from eating disorders. A lot of girls try to take these shortcuts to lose as much weight as possible. This is appealing at first, but that never leads to them having success in the long term.

This is why it is important to make sure that you take on a reputable mentor and work with professional agencies. While there are a lot of agents out there who are trying to use you, there are also good ones. With the right mentor, you'll be on the right path." Iga explained to me.

I then told her about my journey through the business world, where there are all these "Get rich quick" gurus who promise millions of dollars, exotic cars, and live the large mansions with "a few clicks of a button". They go on to charge thousands of dollars for a step-by-step formula which never turns out to be true.

I've also had one so-called "mentor" who wanted to use me for his own personal profits when I was at a young and naive stage of my journey into the business world. It was through these experiences which I learned what it takes to recognize the difference between a mentor who is genuinely trying to help you and one who makes false promises and is trying to scam you.

"How do you go about recognizing who you should and shouldn't work with?" I asked her.

"Professional agencies. Throughout the industry, you'll hear the names of agencies that are good to work with and then ones that you should avoid. If something is recognizable and they have a good reputation, you know it's a good idea to work with them because they have your best interests in mind. While money is always exchanging hands for quality service, the good ones are the ones who look out for your best interests as well." Iga said to me.

When you know how to organize your career, spot the warning signs of people to avoid, and get a good, quality mentor (who helps with their actions, and not with just their words and the stories they tell), you'll know you're supported by the right kinds of people.

Stage 4 of Your Journey:
An Entrepreneurial Mindset

While a lot of these newer girls out there are so focused on getting paid to go on luxury vacations with millionaires, being on the runways of high end fashion shows, and are thinking for the short term, I noticed that one of the deeper reasons for Iga's success is that she is thinking for the long term and sees the bigger picture.

As a fashion model, she understands that her role is to ultimately help the brand that hires her.

She understands that the level of success you have is a result of the things you do off camera. Beyond the photoshoots and the work you see, Iga has a level of professionalism. She continues to grow her network and introduce brands and people together because at the end of the day, the industry she works in is a business.

Constant networking has been one of the keys to helping the brands she works with.

fashion victim industry.jpg

Just like entrepreneurship, modeling is a full time job and when you take your blinders off from the surface-level illusions, and you understand the bigger game of the modeling industry, you have the types of insights that other girls don't see.

While they might be going on those paid vacations on yachts of millionaires and celebrities, the money they make ends from the moment the stop doing the work.

By building a timeless brand, this work will last beyond the sales you make today and carry over and build up to the larger successes you will have in the future.

Stage 5 of Your Journey:
Insights to Success

If you had any advice for others who have embarked on this journey after you, what would you tell them?

1) Educate Yourself Beyond the Classroom

Education has always been a priority of mine. While studying in university, I learned to be a teacher and translator and I taught myself five languages. During the winter breaks, I used to travel with my backpack in Europe and South America.

It's through expanding my horizons where I learned travel was the real 'university of life'. The lessons you learn in the real world are much more valuable than anything they teach you in the classroom.


3) Develop a Strong Work Ethic

Every single year, I helped my mother run her restaurant during the summer season for three months. It was heartbreaking when friends went on vacations, but it was this work ethic which carried over into my passion and my career as a model. Now, when I see other girls giving up when it gets tough, I have this in my background to keep me pushing forward through the long and hard days.

4) Professionalism

I take my career and my time seriously and I pay special attention to the quality of personal interactions. While I enjoy what I do and I reap the rewards of this life, I know it is always important to take your work seriously and always put your best work out there.

5) Learn Marketing and Expand Your Network

As a model, I have to get my name (my brand) out into the world.

It's not always the prettiest girls who are the most successful in the world of modeling. It's the ones who have the social skills, who know how to interact with others, and know how to get their name out there.

Looks do play a role in the line of work I'm in, but the best looks alone won't get you in front of the eyes you want to be seen by. Get yourself out there and make yourself known. My portfolio has grown on its own through in-person networking, but now I am looking to grow my social media accounts to keep my name in front of my fans on a regular basis.

6) Life is About Choices

Taking everything into consideration, it took me many years to build my career and develop personal growth. It was definitely worth going against the grain because that led me to living the life I have now.

You have this life you want to live. It's going to take work to get there. There will be setbacks, but the journey you embark on today will get you to where you want to go tomorrow.

It's not always going to be easy, but when you enjoy the steps you take to get there, it can still always be fun.

Contact Information:

If you're a professional brand in the fashion industry, Iga can be contacted through her Instagram page at Ignis Model

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New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 17, 2018
good marketing bro, it actually took me 3 hours to discover what you just did. brilliant!! Just fu**ing brilliant


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