WHY do it the hard way?
When I was in my mid 20’s and a new business owner, I really didn’t know what I was doing. I started my business with the help of a franchise, so I had a bit of a head start. I had a business model and an example of what a successful operation looked like.
However, I was basically on my own trying to figure out my new business day-by-day. In spite of myself and lack of experience, I grew it nicely, then added a complementary business.
Things were going pretty good. Then I started spending money on marketing and advertising. One of my advertising sales reps saw I was hungry and wanted to grow, so she introduced me to another businessman. His name was/is Charlie. Charlie was in the window business doing about $5M/year (today he does over $25M).
I reached out to Charlie and he invited me to his office. I went and he showed me his business plan, his financials, how he makes marketing decisions and how he planned for profitability and growth.
Needless to say, I was a little blown away.
Charlie is one of the smartest entrepreneurs I’ve ever known. I was impressed by what he showed me and how he ran his business… I left his office with my head spinning.
But, instead of spinning in a positive, excited way, my insecurities and inexperience took over my mind.
“Why would he have just shown me all of that?”
“He’s so good, how can I ever be as good as him…”
“Why would he want to help me?”
“Boy, I probably just wasted his time…”
All HEAD TRASH. And, all absolutely ridiculous.
You see, successful entrepreneurs LOVE to meet with other entrepreneurs… especially those who are non-competing and looking for advice, help or guidance. We LOVE to help.
The truth is, us entrepreneurs are LONELY, not a lot of people understand us. Except those that do what we do. Charlie actually loved to help others, he got as much value from it (sometimes even more) as the person he was helping. But, I was too young, dumb and insecure to see it.
In the 20 years that have passed, I’ve come to realize that we can accelerate our success by learning from others; through books, seminars, podcasts, YouTube, and also by the relationships we form with other entrepreneurs. For example, every month I meet with my local mastermind group for half a day. I have a whole host of people I can call on for specific advice. If it’s marketing, sales, investing, real estate, marriage, kids or mindset… I can make a phone call and get good advice.
I left Charlie’s office that night and didn’t see or talk to him again for a few years. I didn’t know what to say, so whatever I said was awkward. I had realized my mistake but again my head trash and insecurities go in the way. It wouldn’t be until a couple of years after that Charlie became I a client of gFour Marketing and I got to re-establish a relationship with him.
Looking back, all that head trash was not only DESTRUCTIVE and counter-productive for me but, totally and completely unfair to Charlie. You see, had I had a healthy attitude, healthier self-esteem, I would have had a new mentor and maybe friend. Someone who would have been absolutely thrilled to help a young guy like me become more successful in business. And, at that time I really could have used his help… instead, I went at it alone.
My point here is don’t make the same mistake I did. Go and seek out a mentor(s). Find someone who is where you want to be and ask them for their advice and guidance. Then listen and act.
You don’t have to go at this alone. Our Wealthy Contractor Community - that you are a part of - is loaded with people and resources to help you make your business more successful. Use the experience, advice, wisdom, and friendship from other entrepreneurs to move you forward. Read books, listen to podcasts, join a mastermind group, reach out to other entrepreneurs in the industry and develop relationships. Not only will your business be better, but so will you.
We’ve been working with Charlie now since 2009, he is one of our longest running clients. I’ve told him this story and what a dork I was, and we can laugh about it now.
In just a couple of days, Charlie will be one of my special guests at our Accelerate LIVE! Event. I asked him to come and speak to the audience about how to build a profitable and successful home improvement business (you can listen to the podcast episode I did with Charlie here). And as happy he was over 20 years ago to meet with a young inexperienced business owner and help them, he is happy to come and speak and share with an audience of home improvement entrepreneurs. It is my hope that by sharing my story, I can encourage a few people that may feel alone to break out of that and go get help.
Dedicated to YOUR Success,