3 important lessons I’ve learned in business

To be successful in business, you have to be able to adapt and to pick up knowledge and skills as you go. You learn from mentors, colleagues and competitors, and you take lessons from both your achievements and your mistakes.

Absorbing all of this information helps you to grow not only as an entrepreneur, but also as a person. Following are three important lessons I’ve learned during my career.

1. It’s impossible to control everything

No matter how much of a perfectionist you are and how tight a grip you want to keep on your company, the simple fact is you can’t control everything.

Trying to micromanage every aspect of your business can reduce your ability to focus on strategic planning – not to mention spiking your stress levels unnecessarily. As a leader, you have to be able to take a step back and delegate tasks to the appropriate people.

There will also be a range of variables outside of your business that you have little or no control over, including the prevailing market conditions. It means you have to be flexible in your approach and ready to tailor your strategy to suit changing circumstances.

2. Patience is an important virtue

It’s true that a small number of businesspeople seem to propel themselves to instant fame and fortune, but the vast majority of entrepreneurs have to work hard over a sustained period of time to achieve their goals.

This means that patience is vital asset among business leaders. You need to have foresight and dedication to stick to your path and realise your ambitions. Anyone who has made it to the top thanks to hard work and perseverance – and that’s most people – will tell you that this makes the eventual rewards all the more satisfying.

3. Keeping your focus is crucial

After reaching a particular target or milestone, there is a risk that entrepreneurs – who are always juggling multiple priorities – will turn their attention elsewhere and lose their momentum. If you want to achieve sustained success and company growth, you’ll need to be able to maintain your focus on all areas of your business.

One of the things that has helped me to remain motivated throughout my career is my desire to ‘Be Something More’. This phrase was printed on a poster that I put up on my bedroom wall as a youngster living at home and it has helped me to shape my approach to work and to life more generally.

‘Be Something More’ reminds me to continuously strive to achieve the most for my businesses, myself and, just as importantly, for the people around me. This guiding principle is so important to me that I decided to make it the catchphrase for the entire Appco Group.


As chairman and founder of the Cobra Group, Chris Niarchos has achieved global success as an entrepreneur. His journey began at the age of just 22 when he started his first direct sales company in Sydney. He had a vision of growing the business into an international organisation and, through hard work and skill, he has succeeded in his ambition.

Why a positive approach is a must for aspiring entrepreneurs

Not everyone aspires to be an entrepreneur or run their own company, but for those who do choose it, it can be a highly rewarding career path. In my case, it has enabled me to fulfil my professional ambitions, work with some amazing people and see the world.

But, as any entrepreneur will tell you, it’s not all plain sailing and a positive approach is one of the most important qualities that businesspeople, especially aspiring entrepreneurs, can possess. I’ve found that a good attitude can help in a number of different ways…

Keeping a clear head

Letting negativity creep into your thought process makes you more likely to panic in challenging situations.

Most of us know from our personal lives that negative emotions such as fear and anger can reduce our ability to think logically and find rational and/or creative solutions. The same is true in business; if your thought process is dominated by emotions, you’re more likely to act irrationally.

In contrast, if you can stay confident and be optimistic about the future, it’s much easier to keep a clear head and work through any issues successfully.

Being a more effective leader

Keeping a positive attitude helps you to be a more effective leader. Your colleagues will feed off your confidence and enthusiasm and, in turn, this will make them feel better about your business and their roles within it.

Most people want a leader who can see the bigger picture and stay positive even if times are tough seroquel 300 mg. If you can do this, you’ll find it easier to attract and retain the top talent within your organisation, which is a major factor in the long-term success of your business.

Boosting your energy and productivity levels

There’s no getting around the fact that running a company takes plenty of hard work and dedication. Another benefit of maintaining your positivity is that it can make it easier for you keep your energy and productivity levels up. Having a positive vision for your company’s future makes those long days seem worthwhile and it helps you to stay focussed.

Keeping your stress levels in check

You can’t expect an entirely smooth ride when you’re in charge of a company, but an optimistic outlook can keep your stress levels in check.

If you have confidence in your abilities as a leader and you believe in your business model, you will find it easier to cope with potential problems. On the other hand, people with a more negative outlook can find that their stress and anxiety levels soar when they encounter difficulties.


Appco’s Chris Niarchos started his first direct sales company in Sydney, Australia at the age of just 22. From the outset, he had the vision of turning it into one of the world’s most successful sales and marketing businesses – and with operations in almost 30 countries across the globe, he has realised this ambition. You can find out more about Appco Group and the Cobra Group of Companies by visiting their websites.

What is the Human Commercial™?

Ever since I first set up my direct sales business in Australia at the age of 22, I’ve sought to set new standards of excellence in this field.

Face-to-face sales is the oldest and most enduring form of marketing available and, over decades, I’ve witnessed first-hand the impressive results it can achieve for a wide range of organisations. At Appco, we’re continually looking for ways to enhance our services – and as part of this, we’ve developed the Human Commercial™. But what exactly is this concept and why it has proved to be so effective?


Creating a connection

The genius of face-to-face sales is the fact that it creates an instant and lasting connection with consumers. In an increasingly digital world, faceless marketing is now commonplace, but at Appco we believe that people still respond most strongly to other people. This is where our approach really comes into its own.

Using the Human Commercial™, the brand ambassadors in our network engage with people in a professional and friendly way, leaving a positive and enduring impression of the brands they represent. This is in stark contrast to TV adverts, websites, smartphone pop-ups and other impersonal promotional methods. While these approaches certainly have their uses and can be highly effective, they lack the human element of face-to-face sales.

Delivering a tailored message

The Human Commercial™ involves delivering highly tailored messages that are interesting and relevant to consumers’ individual needs and preferences.

Using the technique, brand ambassadors enter into dialogues with prospective customers and provide well-informed answers to any questions they may have. Again, other marketing channels like TV advertisements obviously work, but they can’t do that! In this way, the Human CommercialTM is not simply about ‘selling’ to people; instead it is about respecting them and making sure that they have the best possible experiences. In turn, this can enable consumers to make confident, informed decisions and it helps to ensure they are positively engaged in the products or services that our brand ambassadors represent.

So that they are able to deliver the detailed information that consumers expect and want, the brand ambassadors in our network have in-depth knowledge about the products and services they sell. This comes across immediately when they interact with customers.

At Appco we believe that as the original marketing method, face-to-face sales is here to stay. With decades of experience – and with the help of our dynamic and engaging Human Commercial™ approach – we intend to stay at the cutting edge of this industry.

If you would like to find out more about the services Appco offers, please visit our website. Regardless of your marketing needs, our form of direct sales could help you to create a lasting connection with your target audience and play a major role in boosting your long-term success.

In his role as founder and chairman, Chris Niarchos at Cobra Group of Companies is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the business. Appco Group is the direct sales and marketing subsidiary of Cobra and it now has operations in nearly 30 countries around the world.

The Appco story: building a successful business from scratch

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a successful business owner. So, at the age of just 22, I set up my own direct sales company in Sydney, which would eventually expand and mature into what is now Appco Group – one of the world’s largest face-to-face sales and marketing companies with operations in nearly 30 countries around the world.

It’s been a truly incredible journey from those early days to where I am – and the company is – now; it’s one that has taught me many things both about myself and about the business world.


Striving to Be Something More

There’s no denying the fact that building a successful business from scratch takes dedication, commitment and patience. All entrepreneurs have their own personal ways of coping with the pressures and stresses that running a business can bring. In my case, one of the guiding principles throughout my career has been ‘Be Something More’.

When I was a young kid still living with my parents, my mum brought home a poster with this phrase printed on it. I kept it on my bedroom wall until I left home and the message had a lasting impression on me.

To both my parents, the idea of being something more was hugely important. They believed that it didn’t matter what your line of work was, who you were or where you were from; what mattered was that you strived to fulfil your potential and to do something positive for yourself and your community. In other words, they believed in doing more than simply going through the motions in life.

A company catchphrase

Because this idea has had such a formative influence on my approach to work and to life, I decided to make it the motto for my company.

To me, this idea perfectly encapsulates what Appco means. It’s about achieving excellence and never settling for second best. This is what Appco aims for in all its direct marketing activities. We are leaders when it comes to creating lasting connections with consumers, supporting small companies and entrepreneurs and delivering impressive value to our clients.

The future for Appco

You might assume that because Appco has already achieved such great things, I will be content to sit back and take things easy. In fact, I’m just as focussed as ever and I’m constantly looking for new ways to enhance the business, the service we offer our clients and the opportunities we provide to the budding business leaders in the network.

Back in 2010, we highlighted our commitment to our face-to-face marketing services when we launched the Appco Group brand worldwide. This move was intended to further define our face-to-face business and to differentiate it from the other companies and services we offer within the Cobra Group. And I am determined to ensure Appco carries on growing and improving.

Although I’ve come a long way since first starting out as an entrepreneur, there are many more things that I want to achieve and I have the same drive and passion that motivated me to set up in business back in 1987.