“While you may make “your widget well”, know how to sell it. Selling is not telling. It is a skill. Work hard at the right things.”
How long have you been an Entrepreneur?
This business since 1994 (24 years) and I also had another business for ten years
Did you leave a job to become an Entrepreneur?
What is the name of your current project / company?
Peak Performance Solutions
Please describe for us in 1 sentence your current project.
Move Individuals to Action through effective, practical training and development programs customized to meet client needs.
Where did the idea of your current project come from?
Looked at my strengths, weaknesses, what I loved about my past business and what caused me stress. I put all this on a legal pad and then outlined my career options. Starting a training company was one of the three and here I am 24 years strong.
Why do you do what you do?
I love watching the impact that good communication has on relationships at all levels. Our work is fundamentally about improving communication effectiveness and that is essential to success in any role in any walk of life. Love watching the “ah-ha” moments that happen in sessions and it feels even better when people share their successes later.
What’s the one thing you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?
“Don’t get lazy in Learning”…. While an avid reader of business books, I am sorry I have not pushed myself towards other degrees including my masters and my doctorate. It’s not too late; it would be nice to have it out of the way. You might ask, why do I want it? I think my goal later in life may be to teach on a University or College campus. I love working with young people and I think I might enjoy that at some point in the future.
What’s the most important piece of advice would you give to someone just starting?
While you may make “your widget well”, know how to sell it. Selling is not telling. It is a skill. Work hard at the right things.
What is the hardest thing you have had to do regarding your business?
Upon realizing I was scammed and embezzled, the market took a hit and I lost a large client quite suddenly. I let a part time contract admin go. While I could have gone into debt to keep her helping, it didn’t make sense as the work load lightened too. I have never found a contractor as strong as she was since then. I tell her I miss her almost every day as she now has another job and lives over an hour away.
What does your typical day look like?
On a typical day, I wake between 4:45 and 5:30 am. I do some reading to get my head in the game and often hit the gym or go for a walk. I like to be at the office (when not travelling) between 8:15 and 8:30 am. I color code my time and I make sure I spend enough time in the green zone, that is making sure I am doing things that lead to business. I always say, if the red (admin work) exceeds the green, than you are going out of business. I like to wind down by 5:30 pm. I do spend a great deal of time on the road and try to keep a similar schedule.
If you were to start again, and could change one thing, what would it be?
I can honestly say, “nothing”. While I know I would have saved money if I worked from the house, I like having a professional business presence. I work hard, yet I enjoy life, my networking and clients have led to friends for life.
What is the most important thing in life?
My personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ has become my priority. A lot of hard lessons have taught me to keep that relationship first and all else follows. As a matter of fact, my motto is “God has His own linked in”.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I was embezzled and scammed in 2008 by the daughter of a person at our executive suite. Lots of prayer and people who were committed to helping me, allowed me to recover a good portion of the funds. It was amazing how people I hardly knew, jumped in to help me.
Tell us something unique about yourself.
Many wonder why and how I am driven. I grew up in a blue-collar family, where my dad was a mailman, and my mom raised me with the motto, “Be a secretary, if they die or leave, you will have something to fall back on. My dad died when I was 15. At the high school graduation, many of my friends were talking about going to college in far away places and all I could think was, “I want to go to”. But, I was already planning to go to the local community college and didn’t even try at SAT’s. I could do 96 words a minute in typing with only “three errors” and 126 words per minute in Gregg Shorthand, “no errors”. I was fortunate to get into the local four year, private college in our hometown and grateful for that opportunity. I had to work three jobs to get through, but I did it in four years. College and the friends I met, helped me see a little more of the world and since then, I was driven to succeed and willing to work for it.